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Communist Party of the Russian Federation

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Russia’s elections: views from the left



By Volodya Vagner


March 29, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Virtually all the candidates running in Russia’s recent presidential election openly admitted that what they were participating in was a circus. And as expected, the circus director won. After gracefully skipping the televised debates that saw profanity-laden shouting matches and physical confrontations between his opponents, Russian president Vladimir Putin was re-elected by a landslide on March 18. The real question in the run-up to the vote was never who would win, but how legitimate Putin’s victory would be.


El estado de la izquierda y los movimientos sociales en Rusia

[English at]

Por Boris Kagarlitsky

21/04/2013 -- Sinpermiso -- En Rusia, las dos primeras semanas de enero suelen ser una época en la que nada ocurre. Los integrantes de los estratos más adinerados, los burócratas, los políticos y la burguesía abandonan el país con el fin de pasar sus vacaciones en el extranjero, distribuyéndose por los diversos lugares vacacionales según sus medios, gustos y vanidad. Sus destinos abarcan desde hoteles relativamente baratos en Egipto hasta estaciones de esquí en Francia, Austria o Suiza.

Aquellos que no pueden permitirse tales lujos simplemente beben y liberan su estrés ante el televisor, en sus dachas en el campo o en la sauna.

Boris Kagarlitsky on the current state of the left and social movements in Russia

Anti-Putin protest in Moscow.

[For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.]

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke

March 30, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In Russia, the first two weeks of January are a time when nothing happens. Members of the well-heeled layers, bureaucrats, politicians and the bourgeoisie, set off to spend their holidays abroad, distributing themselves around various locations on the basis of their means, tastes and vanity. Their destinations might range from comparatively cheap hotels in Egypt to ski resorts in France, Austria or Switzerland.

People who cannot afford such things simply drink, and shed their stress in front of the television, at their dachas in the countryside, or in the sauna.

Russia: Why Putin won the presidential election

On March 6, 2012, the Real News Network interviewed Aleksandr Buzgalin, who explained that
Putin promised social democratic reforms but will more likely continue neoliberal policies.

By Aleksandr Buzgalin, translated by Renfrey Clarke

March 8, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The winter of 2011-2012 saw the rise of a new – and powerful – wave of political activism in Russia, a development which understandably has drawn the attention of most Russians, and of wide circles abroad, to the country’s political processes. What has happened?

Formally at least, the results of the elections are well known. Vladimir Putin received 63.6 per cent of the votes, and became president of the Russian Federation.

His losing rivals achieved the following results:

Russia: The people are not silent, but what comes next?

Massive rally in Moscow in support of honest elections, February 4, 2012.

By Aleksandr Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov, translated by Renfrey Clarke

February 16, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This article was written gradually, as events in Russia unfolded. The first version appeared after the first demonstrations in Moscow in December, on Bolotnaya Square and Sakharov Prospekt. The latest variant is taking shape in the hours following the rallies that took place throughout the Russian capital (and not only there) on February 4.

According to early reports, the united opposition assembled a minimum of 40,000 people and perhaps as many as 120,000 (the estimate of the organisers, and far more realistic). Another demonstration called by the marginal right-wing liberal figures Novodvorskaya and Borovoy attracted barely a hundred supporters. As usual, the right-wing nationalist Zhirinovsky brought out his obedient followers to the number of perhaps a thousand people. Far more serious was the rally by opponents of the opposition actions, the so-called anti-orange rally on Poklonnaya Hill. There, as at the opposition demonstration, somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 people took part.

Boris Kagarlitsky on the Russian left; Lull before the storm

January 10, 2012 -- Real News Network -- As the Russian protests rocked the plans of President Putin, who, as Boris Kargalitsky wrote, wanted the elections to legitimise decisions that had already been made, these protests, as he said, essentially were led by segments that were more or less neoliberal or nationalist, but not much by what I guess Boris would call the left. And why is that? So now joining us to talk about the state of the left in Russia is Boris Kagarlitsky. He's a sociologist. He was a deputy to the Moscow city soviet between 1990 and '93. And he's currently the director of the Institute of Globalisation and Social Movements in Moscow. 

Russia: An awakened sense of dignity; December 10: A new page in history

Bolotnaya Square, Moscow, December 10, 2011. Photo by Andrey Kolganov.

By Andrey Kolganov and Aleksandr Buzgalin reporting from Bolotnaya Square, Moscow, translated by Renfrey Clarke

December 16, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Why, after many years when street politics in Russia were deep frozen, have citizens again acquired a taste for street actions? After a public rally near Chistie Prudy metro station in inner Moscow drew 6000-7000 people, what caused 10 times as many to then gather on Bolotnaya Square [on December 10]? (See article below.)

Can it be the crisis? The fall in living standards?

When the crisis first hit, nothing took place to remotely match the recent meetings.

Russia awakes: social protest 100 years after the beginning of the First Russian revolution

by Aleksandr Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov

Aleksandr Buzgalin and Andrei Kolganov are economists and political scientists at Moscow State University who are associated with the social and political journal Alternativy.



Historical context

The anatomy of civil disobedience

The January events: early lessons and the future

It is Not Only about the Law on Monetisation of Benefits

Appendix : Protest actions in 2005: a brief chronology

January 2005 was a profoundly significant month for Russia in many ways, but above all as the month when our people, after a sleep of many years, demonstrated their capacity for joint actions in defence of their common social interests. As many as 300,000 people in more than fifty regions of Russia came out onto the streets over a four-week period, beginning with the symbolic date of the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday". Why did this happen? What was the objective meaning of these events? What could the left have done, or not done, to assist these mainly spontaneous initiatives of the population? What lies ahead, and what can and should be the strategy and tactics for supporters of social renewal? What lessons should we draw from the first successes and failures?

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