Communist Party of the Russian Federation
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (February 2013)|
|Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Коммунистическая Партия Российской Федерации
|Slogan||"Russia, Labour, People’s Power, Socialism"|
|Founded||February 14, 1993|
|Newspaper||Pravda, more than 30 regional editions|
|Youth wing||Leninist Komsomol of the Russian Federation|
|International affiliation||Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|Seats in the State Duma|
|Seats in the Regional Parliaments|
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) (Russian: Коммунистическая Партия Российской Федерации; КПРФ; Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii; KPRF) is a communist party in the Russian Federation. The party is usually seen as the successor of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was banned in 1991 by Boris Yeltsin.
The founding took place at the II Extraordinary Congress of Russian Communists on 14 February 1993, as successor of the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. As of 1 January 2012, the party has 81 regional divisions and had 156,528 members. The areas where the party has many supporters are called "the Red Belt" (Красный Пояс).
The party's goal is to build a "new socialism" in Russia. Short-term goals of the party include the bringing of "patriotic forces" to power and the nationalisation of mineral resources and of strategic sectors of the economy while preserving the small and medium enterprises and social public policy. Since its inception, the party positioned itself in opposition to the authorities.
It is the second largest political party in the Russian Federation, next to United Russia which it calls the "party of crooks and thieves". The youth organisation of the party is the Leninist Komsomol of the Russian Federation. The party is controlled by the Central Committee.
A new version of the party program was adopted in 2008, where the CPRF declared that it is the only political organization that consistently upholds the rights of the workers and national interests. According to the program, the strategic goal of the party is to build in Russia a "renewed socialism, socialism of the 21st century". The program of the Communist Party declared that the party is guided by Marxism–Leninism, based on the experience and achievements of domestic and world science and culture. According to the party there comes a "confrontation between the New World Order and the Russian people", "with its thousand-year history, and with its qualities", "communality and great power, deep faith, undying altruism and decisive rejection of lures mercantile bourgeois liberal-democratic paradise".
According to its program, the CPRF considers it necessary to reform the country in three phases. In the first phase, it is needed to achieve workers' power through representation by a coalition led by the CPRF. Achieving this goal will help eliminate the devastation from the standpoint of the party, the consequences conducted in the past decade of reforms, in particular, by the nationalization of property privatized in the 1990s. In this case, however, small producers will remain, and, moreover, will be organized to protect them from robbery by "big business, bureaucrats, and mafia groups". It is planned to reform the management of enterprises through the creation of councils at various levels. The party also plans to transform Russia into a Soviet republic.
In the second stage the role of councils and trade unions will increase even more. The economy will be made a gradual transition to a socialist form of economic activity, however, a small private equity is still retained. Finally, the third phase is to build socialism.
Party program 
Under the present conditions in the Russian Federation, the Communist Party believes it is necessary to:
- Stop the extinction of the country, restore benefits for large families, reconstruct the network of public kindergartens and provide housing for young families.
- Nationalize natural resources in Russia and the strategic sectors of the economy; revenues in these industries are to be used in the interests of all citizens.
- Return to Russia from foreign banks the state financial reserves and use them for economic and social development.
- Break the system of total fraud in the elections.
- Create a truly independent judiciary.
- Carry out an immediate package of measures to combat poverty and introduce price controls on essential goods.
- Not raise the retirement age.
- Restore government responsibility for housing and utilities, establish fees for municipal services in an amount not more than 10% of family income, stop the eviction of people to the streets, expand public housing.
- Increase funding for science and scientists to provide decent wages and all the necessary research.
- Restore the highest standards of universal and free secondary and higher education that existed during the Soviet era.
- Ensure the availability and quality of health care.
- Vigorously develop high-tech manufacturing.
- Ensure the food and environmental security of the country and support the large collective farms for the production and processing of agricultural products.
- Prioritize domestic debt over of foreign (to compensate for household deposits, burnt in the disastrous years of "reform").
- Introduce progressive taxation; low-income citizens will be exempt from paying taxes.
- Create conditions for development of small and medium enterprises.
- Ensure the accessibility of cultural goods, stop the commercialization of culture, defend Russian culture as the foundation of the spiritual unity of multinational Russia, the national culture of all citizens of the country.
- Stop the slandering of the Russian and Soviet history.
- Take drastic measures to suppress corruption and crime.
- Strengthen national defense and expand social guarantees to servicemen and law enforcement officials.
- Ensure the territorial integrity of Russia and the protection of compatriots abroad.
- Institute a foreign policy based on mutual respect of countries and peoples to facilitate the voluntary restoration of the Union of States.
Party structure 
The CPRF is legally registered by the Russian state. It has regional offices in 81 federal subjects. Each regional office is controlled by the regional (oblast, city, etc.) Committee headed by the First Secretary. The headquarter of the party is in Moscow. The Leninist Komsomol of the Russian Federation is the youth organisation of the party.
The party is controlled by the Central Committee. The Central Committee shall prepare papers on key issues on the basis of the programmes of the party and decisions of the congresses.
The current composition of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, as elected on 30 November 2008 and 28 March 2009:
- Gennady Zyuganov
- Ivan Melnikov
- Vladimir Kashin
- Yury Afonin
- Nikolai Vasilev
- Leonid Kalashnikov
- Nikolai Kolomeitsev
- Boris Komotsky
- Sergei Levchenko
- Dmitrii Novikov
- Sergei Obukhov
- Valery Rashkin
- Sergey Reshulsky
- Valentin Romanov
- Peter Romanov
- Vyacheslav Tetekin
- Nikolay Kharitonov
- Valentin Shurchanov
International cooperation 
In 1993 the party founded the Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Since 2001, the organisation has been led by Gennady Zyuganov.
Pravda is the newspaper of the Communist Party, it has more than 30 regional editions. The party has also a newspaper named Sovetskaya Rossiya (Soviet Russia). The party has plans to launch its own television channel.
According to the financial report of the CPRF, in 2006 the party received 127,453,237 rubles (3,998,835 U.S. dollars):
- 29% - membership fees
- 30% - the federal budget
- 6% - donations
- 35% - other incomes
In 2006 the party spent 116,823,489 rubles (3,665,328 U.S. dollars):
- 5% - for the maintenance of regional offices
- 21% - on promotion (information, advertising, publishing, printing)
- 10% - the content of the governing bodies
- 7% - the preparation and conduct of elections and referenda
- 36% - content publishers, media and educational institutions
In 2008 the CPRF received 70% of its finance from the state budget of the Russian Federation. According to a report at the XIII Congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, for 10 months of 2008, total income amounted to 148 million rubles, including 8 million rubles from charges membership fees, 36 million rubles from donations and 106 million rubles from government funding.
The party was founded on 14 February 1993 at the II Extraordinary Congress of Communist Russia, declaring itself as the successor to the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. It brought together a number of successor groups from the CPSU, including Roy Medvedev's Socialist Party of the Working People, Alexei Prigarin's Union of Communists and much of the membership of the Russian Communist Workers Party (although party leader Viktor Anpilov rejected the new party).
The CPRF is led by Gennady Zyuganov, who co-founded the party in early 1993 with senior former Soviet politicians Yegor Ligachev and Anatoly Lukyanov among others. Zyuganov had been a critic of Alexander Yakovlev, the "godfather of glasnost", on the CPSU Central Committee, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 he became active in the Russian "national-patriotic" movement, being the chairman of the National Salvation Front (some authors call him a nationalist).
A new umbrella movement was formed on the initiative of the CPRF on 7 August 1996. It was called the People's Patriotic Union of Russia (NPSR) and consisted of more than 30 left-wing and right-wing nationalist organizations, such as the Russian All-People's Union led by Sergey Baburin. Gennady Zyuganov was its chairman. He was supported by the party as a candidate for Russia's presidency during the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. During the presidential elections of 1996, the CPRF was supported by prominent intellectual Aleksandr Zinovyev (a former Soviet dissident who became a supporter of communism at the time of Perestroika). Another prominent supporter of the CPRF is the physicist Zhores Alferov, who received the Nobel prize for physics in 2000.
CPRF's former members include many popular politicians, who seceded after their ambitions on party leading collided with Zyuganov's, who held the stronger support. Gennady Seleznev in 2001, Sergey Glazyev in 2003 and Gennady Semigin in 2004 were the most notable "dissenters". Commentators characterize the dominating Zyuganov wing as nationalist or 'popular-patriotic' (which is often used by the party militants themselves), rather than orthodox Marxist-Leninist. Some observers consider only Richard Kosolapov's minority faction of the CPRF as ideologically communist per se.
A minority faction criticised the decision to candidate "millionaires" (such as Sergei Sobko, general director and owner of the TEKHOS company) in the CPRF's lists, which was seen as a contradiction to the Marxist-Leninist and anti-oligarchic policies of the Party.
In July 2004 a breakaway faction elected Vladimir Tikhonov as its leader. The faction later formed the All-Russia Communist Party of the Future. The operation wasn't successful and recently Tikhonov's party has suspended active operations, seeking rapprochement with Zyuganov's side.
The Russian Federal Registration Service says that 164,546 voters have registered with the government as members of the CPRF.
Gennady Zyuganov, head of the party and its candidate for president of Russia in the election of 2012, denounced election irregularities in the Russian legislative election of 2011 but also expressed his opposition to the organizers of the mass demonstrations of December, 2011 who he views as ultra liberals who are exploiting unrest. The party played only a minor role in the protests, with one of its speakers, who called for restoration of Soviet power, being booed off the stage. Party rallies on December 18, 2011 in protest of election irregularities in Moscow and Saint Petersberg were attended by only a few thousand, mostly elderly, party supporters.
Parliamentary elections 
|Year||Percent of the votes cast||Seats||Percent of seats in the Duma|
In the first elections for the State Duma in 1993, the party was third and received 12.4% of the votes (45 seats). Then increase the popularity of the party, and in the second parliamentary elections in 1995, the party was first with 22.3% of the votes (157 seats). At the next elections in 1999, the party was also first with 24.29% of votes (113 seats). In 2003, the Communists received 12.8% of the vote and 51 seats in the State Duma. Zyuganov called it a "disgusting spectacle" and accused the Kremlin of setting up a "fake party" Rodina, in order to steal his votes. Then in 2007 they received 11.57% of votes and 52 seats. At the last parliamentary elections in 2011, the popularity raised, and they received 19.19% of the vote and 92 seats.
Regional elections 
In the Moscow Duma election held on 4 December 2005, the Party won 16.75% and 4 seats. This was the best ever result for the CPRF in Moscow. In some observers opinion, the absence of the Rodina party contributed to the Communists' success.
On 11 March 2007, elections took place for 14 regional and local legislatures. The CPRF performed very well and increased its votes in most of the territories; it came second in Oryol Oblast (23.78%), Omsk Oblast (22.58%), Pskov Oblast (19.21%) and Samara Oblast (18.87%), Moscow Oblast (18.80%), Murmansk Oblast (17.51%) and Tomsk Oblast (13.37%). These results testify that the CPRF is the most significant opposition party in Russia.
On 21 May 2007, the CPRF obtained an important success in the Volgograd's mayoral election. Communist candidate Roman Grebennikov was elected as mayor with 32.47% of the vote. Grebennikov is the youngest mayor of a regional capital. But since Roman Grebennikov has switched allegiances to United Russia, angering many communists who accuse him of using the CPRF as a tool to become elected.
|Nenets Autonomous Okrug||25.86||20.51|
Presidential elections 
|Election year||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
|Votes||% of overall votes||Votes||% of overall votes|
|1996||Gennady Zyuganov||24,211,686||32.0 (#2)||30,104,589||40.3 (#2)|
|2000||Gennady Zyuganov||21,928,468||29.2 (#2)|
|2004||Nikolay Kharitonov||9,513,313||13.7 (#2)|
|2008||Gennady Zyuganov||13,243,550||17.7 (#2)|
|2012||Gennady Zyuganov||12,318,353||17.2 (#2)|
In all presidential elections that have been held in the Russian Federation, the Communist Party's candidate has finished second. The party had actually won the presidential elections in 1996, but there was widespread fraud committed for Yeltsin. Zyuganov received, according to the official results, 17.18% of the votes in the presidential election of 2012. According to independent observers, there was large-scale fraud in favor of Putin. He called the election "one of thieves, and absolutely dishonest and unworthy".
The CPRF has its stronghold in large cities and major industrial and scientific centers ("naukograds") and in small towns and cities around Moscow. For example, one of the few polling stations that gave a success to the CPRF during the Russian legislative election of 2007 was at Moscow State University.
According to Mikhail Remizov, president of the Institute of the National Strategy: "The electorate of the Communist Party of Russia is becoming more variegated. Now they are not only elderly pensioners crying for the USSR. A group of discontented voters is taking shape among potential voters and the lion’s share of their votes goes to the Communist Party, which maintains the reputation of the main oppositional force, and this affects its rating."
Marxist theoretician Boris Kagarlitsky writes: “It is enough to recall that within the Communist movement itself, Zyuganov's party was at first neither the sole organisation, nor the largest. Bit by bit, however, all other Communist organisations were forced out of political life. This occurred not because the organisations in question were weak, but because it was the CPRF that had received the Kremlin's official approval as the sole recognised opposition.” Andrei Brezhnev, grandson of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, has criticised the CPRF's Zyuganov's rapprochement with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Zyuganov with members of the Leninist Komsomol of the Russian Federation.
Demonstration of communists on the Red Square.
The Communist Party holds a demonstration on Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow.
The party lays down flowers at the tomb of Joseph Stalin.
See also 
- Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- Russian Communist Workers' Party – Revolutionary Party of Communists
- Vanguard of Red Youth
- Зюганов Г. А. Кадры партии в действии. — М.: ИТРК, 2001. — с. 11. — ISBN 5-88010-083-9
- "Thousands pay respects to Stalin". BBC News. 2003-03-06. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
- American University (Washington, D.C.), and Moskovskiĭ gosudarstvennyĭ universitet im. M. V. Lomonosova. Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, volume 4. Washington, D.C.: Quality Press of the Southern Tier, 1996. p. 174
- Richard Sakwa, Russian Politics and Society, Routledge, 1996, p. 85
- Who Are You, Comrade Zyuganov?
- The Communist Party in Post-Soviet Russia, by ''Luke March''. books.google.ru. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- Russian politics and society - Google Books. books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- Ethnic Nationalism in the Russian Federation, by Anatoly M. Khazanov; Daedalus, vol. 126, 1997
- Andrey Shabaev. "Российская многопартийность. Глава 5". www.partinform.ru. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- Andrey Shabaev. "Партинформ. Материал последнего номера". www.partinform.ru. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- Federal Registration Service of the Russian Federation
- David M. Herszenhorn (December 20, 2011). "Where Communists See an Opening, Many Russians See a Closed Door". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2011. "He, [Gennadi A. Zyuganov], has joined in popular protests against Mr. Putin’s government, while seeking to block the rise of the liberal reformers leading those rallies by denouncing them as a subversive threat to Russia’s future."
- Russian Political Parties Directory - p. 63
- Russian legislative election, 2003, Wikipedia article "Russian legislative election, 2003"
- Russian legislative election, 2007, Wikipedia article "Russian legislative election, 2007"
- Russian legislative election, 2011, Wikipedia article "Russian legislative election, 2011"
- "Официальный сайт КПРФ". Cprf.ru. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- "Оренбургский Областной Комитет КПРФ" (in ru). Retrieved 2009-02-05. Unknown parameter
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- "Агентство Политических Новостей" (in ru). Retrieved 2007-12-14. Unknown parameter
- Name: * (2001-01-17). "RUSSIA: Is there life for KPRF after Yeltsin? 17 January 2001 BY BORIS KAGARLITSKY". www.greenleft.org.au. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- "THE SATURDAY PROFILE; A Different Kind of Brezhnev in the Making". The New York Times. 2002-08-10. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Lisa Horner "Communism and the CPRF in Modern Russia" • The School of Russian and Asian Studies (23.01.2009)
- Miriam Elder, "Communism: a love affair? The tyranny of daily bribes has many Russians nostalgic for Soviet social services" • The Global Post (14 October 2009) (updated 30 May 2010)
Further reading 
- KPRF ideology and its implications for democratization in Russia by Syed Mohsin Hashim. In: Communist and Post-Communist Studies volume 32, issue 1, March 1999, pp. 77–89.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Communist Party of the Russian Federation|
- Political Program of the party
- Communist Party of the Russian Federation official Web site
- Communist Party of the Russian Federation forum
- Official YouTube account of the party