Liberal Democratic Party of Russia

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Leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Parliamentary Leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Founded 1991: Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union
1992: Liberal Democratic Party of Russia [1][2]
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Newspaper For the Russian People
Youth wing Youth Organization of LDPR
Ideology Russian imperialism[3][4]
Right-wing populism[5]
Russian ultranationalism[6]

Right-wing nationalism[8]
Mixed economy[9]
Social conservatism[11]
Political position Far-right (socially)
Centre-left (economically)
International affiliation None
Colours          Gold, blue
Slogan Freedom, Patriotism, Law
Seats in the Federation Council
3 / 170
Seats in the State Duma
40 / 450
1 / 85
Seats in the Regional Parliaments
236 / 3,928
Party flag

The LDPR (Russian: ЛДПР), formerly the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (Russian: Либерально-Демократическая Партия РоссииLiberal'no-Demokraticheskaya Partiya Rossii), is a far-right political party. The controversial Vladimir Zhirinovsky has led the party since its founding in 1989.

Opposing both communism and neoliberal capitalism of the 1990s, the party scored a major success in the 1993 Russian Duma elections, receiving a plurality of votes. In the elections in 2007, the party received 8.14% of the vote, giving it 40 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. In the 2011 elections, they increased their percentage to 11.4%.

Despite the party's name, it is frequently described as "neither liberal nor democratic."[17] The party has been described as fiscally leftist and authoritarian.[18][19][20] Its ideology is based primarily on Zhirinovsky's ideas of "imperial reconquest" (a "renewed Russian Empire")[21] and on an authoritarian vision of a "Greater Russia".[20][22]

The party is today known as: LDPR (Russian: ЛДПР).[23][24]



An effectively multi-party system emerged in Soviet Union in the late 1980s in wake of the Gorbachev reforms. A formal law for this purpose was introduced in October 1990. In April 1991, the Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union (LDPSS) became the second officially registered party in the country.[1] According to former CPSU Politburo member Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, the new party was a joint project of CPSU leadership and the KGB. He described how KGB director Vladimir Kryuchkov presented the project of the puppet party at a meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev and informed him about his selection of leaders and the mechanism of funding. Former KGB General Philipp Bobkov described the organization as "Zubatov's pseudo-party under KGB control that directs interests and sentiments of certain social groups".[25] The outspoken leader of the party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, an effective media performer,[1] gained 8% of votes during the 1991 Presidential elections.[26] He also supported the August 1991 coup attempt. In 1992, the LDPSS broke apart into its regional offsprings and the LDPR was created as its successor in Russia.


In the 1993 Duma elections, the pro-reform party supporting President Boris Yeltsin, Russia's Choice, received only 15% of the vote, and the new Communist Party of the Russian Federation only 12.4%. Liberal Democratic Party of Russia emerged as the winner with 22.9% of the popular vote. In effect, the Russian population was divided to those who supported Boris Yeltsin's reforms and to those who did not. It is regarded that the popularity of Zhirinovsky and his party arose from the electorate's dissatisfaction with Yeltsin, and their desire for a non-communist solution.[27]

Zhirinovsky is credited with having successfully identified the problems of ordinary Russians, and offering simple remedies to solve them. For example, he has suggested that all leaders of organized crime should be shot, and all Chechens deported from Russia.[1] Zhirinovsky also called for territorial expansion of Russia. Many of Zhirinovsky's views are highly controversial, and the LDPR's success in the early 1990s shocked observers both inside and outside Russia.[26]

The Duma elected in 1993 was as interim solution, and its mandate expired in 1995. During the two years, Zhirinovsky's popularity waned, and his party's support was halved in the 1995 elections (11.2%). The Communists emerged as the winners, with 22.3% of the vote.[27]

In the presidential elections of 1996, the liberal democratic party has nominated Vladimir Zhirinovsky as a candidate. Zhirinovsky gained 5.7% of the votes in the first round.

In 1999, the party participated in the elections as a "Bloc of Zhirinovsky", as the CEC initially refused to register in the election lists of LDPR. Party received 6.0% of the votes.[28] In the 3rd State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky took up the post of Vice Chairman and the post of the head of fraction occupied by his son Igor Lebedev.


In the presidential election of 2000, the party has again put forward Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who won 2.7% of votes.

In the parliamentary elections of 2003, the party won 11.5% of the votes, received 36 seats.

In the 2004 presidential election, the liberal democratic party nominated Oleg Malyshkin. The party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky was hoping to take the post of Prime Minister in case of Malyshkin's victory on elections. In the end, Malyshkin scored 2% of votes, having lost the election.[29]

In the latest elections in 2007, LDPR received 5,660,823 votes (8.14%) and received 40 seats in the State Duma.[27]

In the 2008 presidential election, Vladimir Zhirinovsky was re-nominated as a candidate. He scored 9.4% of the vote.

2010–present day[edit]

Rally of the Liberal Democratic Party in 2012

In the parliamentary elections of 2011, the party scored 11.7% of the vote, won 56 seats. In the 6th State Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovsky returned to the post of head of the LDPR faction, and his son Igor Lebedev has held the position of Vice Chairman of the State Duma.

In the presidential elections 2012, the party has again put forward by Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Zhirinovsky's campaign slogan for 2012 was "Vote Zhirinovsky, or things will get worse".[30] Proshka, a donkey owned by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, became prominent during the presidential campaign, when he was filmed in an election advertisement video. On the last episode of debates with Mikhail Prokhorov, just before the elections, Zhirinovsky produced a scandal, calling those Russian celebrities which supported Prokhorov, including a pop-diva and a veteran of Russian pop scene Alla Pugacheva, "prostitutes" ("I thought you are an artful person, politician, cunning man, but you are just a clown and a psycho" replied Pugacheva. "I am what I am. And such is my charm" replied Zhirinovsky).[31] As a result, Zhirinovsky gained 6.2% of the votes.

XXVIII Congress of the Liberal Democratic Party in 2016

In the parliamentary elections in 2016, the party improved the result compared to the previous elections. The liberal democratic party surpassed the center-left party A Just Russia, becoming the third largest party in the State Duma, and in tight approaching the Communist Party, almost even with her result. The liberal democratic party won 39 seats, gaining 13.1% . (For comparison, the Communist Party won 13.3% of votes and 42 seats.)

In 2015, Vladimir Zhirinovsky has again expressed a desire to participate in the presidential elections in 2018. However, originally, in the past, potential candidates from LDPR Zhirinovsky also called his son Igor Lebedev, as well as close associates of Mikhail Degtyarev, Yaroslav Nilov and Alexei Didenko.[32] After the parliamentary elections of 2016, Zhirinovsky said he would run himself.[33] According to public opinion polls, Zhirinovsky is the second most popular candidate, would vote for him over 10% of the electorate, it is two times more than the Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who has always taken second place in the elections.[34]


The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia aims for "a revival of Russia as a great power." It opposes both communism and the neoliberal capitalism that resulted from Russia's reforms. It favours a mixed economy with private ownership but with a strong management role reserved for the state. In foreign policy, the party places a strong emphasis on "civilizations." It has supported the restoration of Russia with its "natural borders" (which the party believes include Belarus, Ukraine and all other former Soviet republics). It sees the unification of Russia and Belarus as a first step in the restoration. The LDPR regards the United States and the Western civilization as the main external threat to Russia. The party has harshly criticised the discrimination against ethnic Russians in the Baltic states and demanded that they should be given Russian citizenship and protected against discriminatory legislation.[1]

Professor Henry E. Hale lists the party's main policy stands as nationalism and a focus in law and order. Although it often uses radical opposition rhetoric, the LDPR frequently votes for government proposals. This has led to speculation that the party receives funding from the Kremlin.[26]

Structure and membership[edit]

Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky

The party's organization is almost entirely centered on its charismatic leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.[26]

The party is in alliance with several parties in the former Soviet republics, including Armenia, Belarus, Estonia and Ukraine.

In 2003, the party claimed 600,000 members and had issued 475,000 party cards.[1] According to a 2008 survey by Colton, Hale and McFaul, 4% of the Russian population are loyalists of the party.[26]

Electoral results[edit]

Legislative Elections[edit]

State Duma
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1993 12,318,562 (#1) 22.9
70 / 450
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
1995 7,737,431 (#2) 11.18
51 / 450
Decrease 19
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
1999 3,990,038 (#5) 5.98
17 / 450
Decrease 34
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2003 6,943,885 (#3) 11.45
36 / 450
Increase 19
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2007 5,660,823 (#3) 8.14
40 / 450
Increase 4
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2011 7,664,570 (#4) 11.67
56 / 450
Increase 16
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2016 6,917,063 (#3) 13.24
39 / 450
Decrease 17
Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Presidential Elections[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
1991 6,211,007 (#3) 8.0 Vladimir Zhirinovsky
1996 4,311,479 (#5) 5.8 Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2000 2,026,509 (#5) 2.7 Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2004 1,405,326 (#5) 2.0 Oleg Malyshkin
2008 6,988,510 (#3) 9.5 Vladimir Zhirinovsky
2012 4,448,959 (#4) 6.2 Vladimir Zhirinovsky

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f White, Stephen (2005). "The Political Parties". In White, Gitelman, Sakwa. Developments in Russian Politics. 6. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3522-0. 
  2. ^ Russiaprofile Archived 2011-01-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ (PDF)[dead link]
  4. ^ Allah's Mountains. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ultranationalists Move to Slap Fines on Use of Foreign Words". 21 February 2013. 
  7. ^ IBP USA Russia Parliament Encyclopedic Directory Strategic Information and Contacts p. 259
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "How Moscow is spreading its propaganda using EU-funded media - (English)". 12 March 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ (PDF)[dead link]
  13. ^
  14. ^ Wodak, Ruth (21 September 2015). "The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean". SAGE. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via Google Books. 
  15. ^ "Совет Федерации ФС РФ — Официальный сайт ЛДПР, информационное агентство ЛДПР, новости ЛДПР". Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "Борис Пайкин стал 40-м членом фракции ЛДПР в Госдуме — Официальный сайт ЛДПР, информационное агентство ЛДПР, новости ЛДПР". Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  17. ^ Timothy Colton, Yeltsin: A Life (2011), p. 282; Donald J. Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia's Cold War Generation, p. 327; The troubled birth of Russian democracy: parties, personalities, and programs. p. 244.
  18. ^ Russian Political Parties Directory (1999), p. 65.
  19. ^ Peter H. Merkl and Leonard Weinberg, Right-wing extremism in the twenty-first century (2003). Psychology Press: p. x.
  20. ^ a b Hans-Georg Betz, Radical right-wing populism in Western Europe (1994). Palgrave Macmillan: p. 23.
  21. ^ Stephen E. Hanson, Post-Imperial Democracies: Ideology and Party Formation in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and Post-Soviet Russia (2011). Cambridge University Press.
  22. ^ John B. Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire (2011). Princeton University Press, p. 167.
  23. ^ "Лидер ЛДПР выступил с политическим докладом на XXVIII Съезде партии — Официальный сайт ЛДПР, информационное агентство ЛДПР, новости ЛДПР". Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Партия — Официальный сайт ЛДПР, информационное агентство ЛДПР, новости ЛДПР". Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  25. ^ Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev Time of darkness, Moscow, 2003, ISBN 5-85646-097-9, page 574 (Russian: Яковлев А. Сумерки. Москва: Материк 2003 г.). The book provides an official copy of a document providing the initial party funding (3 million rubles) from the CPSU money
  26. ^ a b c d e Hale, Henry E. (2010). "Russia's political parties and their substitutes". In White, Stephen. Developments in Russian Politics 7. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-22449-0. 
  27. ^ a b c McFaul, Michael; Stoner-Weiss, Kathryn (2010). "Elections and Voters". In White, Stephen. Developments in Russian Politics 7. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-22449-0. 
  28. ^ [ "������"]. Retrieved 15 September 2017.  replacement character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  29. ^ "По отработанному сценарию". Retrieved 15 September 2017. [permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Profiles of Russia's 2012 presidential election candidates". 1 March 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via 
  31. ^ "Жириновский устроил скандал на дебатах с Пугачевой". Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  32. ^ Жириновский пойдёт на выборы президента с четырьмя преемниками
  33. ^ "Владимир Жириновский снова собрался в президенты". 28 October 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via Kommersant. 
  34. ^ "В. Путин: рейтинг, отношение, оценки работы / ФОМ". Retrieved 15 September 2017. 

External links[edit]