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Update from Moscow: Russia’s Bright Future

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On September 17th, 2021, voting began for the Russian legislative elections. The voting period was open for 3 days per government mandate, and the results we now have are telling for the political climate in Russia. Founder of the Center for Political Innovation, Caleb Mapuin, interviewed RT Correspondent Donald Courter for the breakdown.

“The main thing about these elections is that it had some of the best results for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation since the 1990s,” explains Don, “United Russia still came in first, that’s the party that is most in support of Putin’s administration. They came in with 50% in first place. The KPRF (Communist Party) came with 19% actually, back in the last parliamentary elections in 2016, they had only 13%… [which] is a low number for the Communist Party… I think one of the big take-aways from the [elections is the] fact that none of the top four most popular parties are actually liberal… The main liberal party that’s been the party of Russian liberals for decades, Yabloko, had around 1%. So it’s really, if anything, a demonstration that Russians really don’t want liberalism.”

Caleb points out that, despite this, “US media seems to be spinning this as if this was somehow a win for the Russian liberal opposition and the pro-Western folks in the country…”

“What I’ve seen in the Western media is that there’s been tons of articles and news reports that [say] ‘people are voting against Putin’ and ‘people don’t like Putin’,” Don responded, “when, in Russia, nobody is talking about that, they’re talking about the fact that communism is becoming more popular… They [the KPRF] have been campaigning really seriously for this election for a long time now. There’s a lot of factors that play into [the rise of communist sentiments], of course the Corona Virus has negatively affected the economy here and that took it’s toll after the last parliamentary elections. The economy isn’t as good as it was [and] one of Putin’s less popular policies was the raising of the pensioner age which the Communist Party has been ardently against. These are things that have increased the popularity of the communist party over those years… The main bases [of communist popularity] are what General Secretary of the Russian Communist party Gennady Zyuganov called, ‘Deep Russia.’ Two big examples of KPRF strongholds are Yakutia in Russia’s far East and another place called Nenets Autonomous District. These are two places where the communist party has really solidified almost total control over. [The Communists] are growing in popularity around the country because people are learning more about communist ideas or because they just want to make a protest vote against Putin’s government for things they weren’t happy about.”

The political climate in Russia has been one of great concern for the international communist movement since the fall of the USSR in the early 90s. As the de facto successor to the CPSU, the major uptick in support for the KPRF indicates a bright future for Russian and international communists alike. Western media has tried to inject liberalism into Russia through faces like Alexei Navalny but the Russian people, especially those in ‘Deep Russia,’ have flatly rejected these attempts.

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