Your guide to Russian political parties ahead of the 2021 Parliamentary Election: Fair Russia — For Truth
From September 17-19, Russians will vote to elect the 450 MPs who will represent them for the next five years. Ahead of the election, RT will preview the parties most likely to win seats, this time focusing on Fair Russia.
Who are they?
Fair Russia — For Truth is a party initially created in 2006, although it has undergone many changes since. It was initially formed as a merger of three minor factions, namely Rodina, the Party of Life, and the Pensioners’ Party. Sergey Mironov, the head of the Party of Life, was chosen as its leader. It has rebranded numerous times in the 15 years since but is still chaired by the veteran from Saint Petersburg. The party has left-wing economic policies but leans heavily conservative on social issues.
Earlier this year, Fair Russia absorbed the Patriots of Russia and For Truth factions, adding the latter’s name to the official title of the party today.
How did they do last time?
In 2016, Fair Russia received just 6% of the vote, losing two-thirds of the seats it won in 2011.
In the time since, the party has had some electoral success, winning the governorships of the Omsk and Chuvash Regions in 2018 and 2020 respectively, both by a landslide. The ruling United Russia party opted not to contest these elections.Also on rt.com Russia’s elections are an all-important test for Putin’s party. But can opposition activists in the sunny south beat voter apathy?
In the 2018 Presidential Election, the group backed the candidacy of Vladimir Putin, with leader Mironov claiming that he had no desire to fight “for second place.”
Who supports them?
Despite the party’s lowly position on the national stage, however, it does have some pockets of substantial support in Russia’s south, such as in North Ossetia and the Astrakhan Region, where the grouping has significant representation in the local parliament.
What do they believe?
Fair Russia is nominally a fiscally left-wing party with right-wing nationalist social policies, but in reality it is a smorgasbord from all over the political spectrum. For example, Mironov himself claims to be a socialist. At the same time, his two co-chairmen originally come from the Patriots of Russia, a Communist Party splinter group, and For Truth, founded by a former member of the notoriously syncretic National Bolshevik Party, which was created by Soviet dissident writer Eduard Limonov.
For the 2021 election, the group is running on a manifesto called ‘The 12 Principles of Truth, Patriotism, and Justice’. The party’s pledges include overcoming the income gap by increasing tax on the wealthiest citizens, state regulation of prices for tariffs of essential goods, and a focus on a fair redistribution of budget revenues from the center of the country to other, more remote, regions.Also on rt.com Your guide to Russian political parties ahead of the 2021 Parliamentary Election: The Liberal Democratic Party
In terms of foreign policy, Fair Russia seeks to recognize the right of the people of Donbass, in eastern Ukraine, to self-determination, while offering an “easy and quick opportunity” for those who grew up in “Russian culture” to obtain a passport.
What else do I need to know?
The first name on Fair Russia’s party list is Zakhar Prilepin, a Russian writer and journalist who fought in the war in Chechnya in the 1990s before later becoming second in command of a volunteer battalion in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, in Ukraine. He has boasted about killing many people.
His political career started in the aforementioned National Bolshevik Party (NBP), a banned political organization that promoted a form of Russian irredentist neo-sovietism and sought to unite both far-left and far-right radicals. He later joined The Other Russia, founded by the same man who created the NBP, the infamous Limonov.
Prilepin is wanted in Ukraine on terrorism charges.
In the West, Fair Russia’s most famous party member is undoubtedly Steven Seagal, who was granted Russian citizenship by Putin in 2016. He joined the party earlier this year and proposed a crackdown on businesses that damage the environment.
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