Party of crooks and thieves

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A poster that won the Navalny contest "Against the party of crooks and thieves"
A sticker in Moscow prior to the December 5, 2011 protests reads "Against the party of crooks and thieves" Anti-government protests in Moscow, December 10, 2011. The poster in the foreground reads "Party of crooks and thieves go away!"
"Down with the power of crooks and thieves!"

Party of crooks and thieves (Russian: Партия жуликов и воровPartiya zhulikov i vorov, abbr. Russian: ПЖиВPZhiV[1]) is an expression widely circulating among opposition in Russia which is used to refer to the ruling United Russia party, led by Vladimir Putin. It was coined by blogger and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny in February 2011.[2][3]


In 2013 far-right politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, speaking to Echo of Moscow, claimed to have used this expression in 2009.[4] In 2010 liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, speaking to Radio Liberty, described United Russia as "a party of thieves and corrupt officials".[5]

On February 2, 2011, in an interview with Finam FM radio station, blogger and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny responded to the question about United Russia:[6]

I think very poorly of United Russia. United Russia is the party of corruption, the party of crooks and thieves.[7]

The English translation "party of crooks and thieves" first appeared in an article of The New Yorker on April 4, 2011, by Russian-born American journalist Julia Ioffe.[7] The expression was also used by The Economist in October and December 2011.[8][9]


The slogan was widely used during the 2011 Russian legislative election campaign[10] by parties and individuals.[11]

Posters, banners, stickers were common during the protests in 2011 and 2012.

While reporting about the two sessions, i.e. National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, CGTN Russian, a Russian-language Chinese media platform used the term in its video to introduce China's efforts to contain corruption.[12]

Public opinion[edit]

A Levada Center survey on July 19, 2011, revealed that 33% of Russians agree that United Russia is a "party of crooks and thieves", while 47% disagreed.[13] Another survey by the same center in June 2012 showed an increase in respondents agreeing with the characterization. Of the total, 47% agreed and 40% disagreed.[14] The latest survey was conducted in April 2013 by Levada Center. For the first time since 2011, it showed the majority of Russians (51%) agreeing with the phrase.[15] At the same poll, 62% of Russian said United Russia members are about "maintaining and strengthening their own power."[16]

In February 2011, Navalny created a poll in his LiveJournal blog in which around 38,000 people participated with over 96% agreeing with the characterization of United Russia as "party of crooks and thieves".[citation needed]

Reaction from United Russia[edit]

On October 11, 2011, the Lyublinsky District Court rejected the lawsuit of United Russia member Vladimir Svirid against Navalny.[17]

On November 24, 2011, during a debate on Russia-1 between United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party, State Duma Member Alexander Khinshtein (a member of United Russia) stated:

United Russia works. It does everything to change the life [standards] in our country. They tell us about a "party of crooks and thieves." I will respond them. It is better to be in a "party of crooks and thieves" than in a "party of murderers, rapists and robbers."[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Большинство тех, кто голосовал против ПЖиВ, не читали Навального, не ужасались происшествию на Ленинском проспекте. У каждого из них случился какой-то свой персональный Ленинский проспект". Novaya Gazeta. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ * "Russia election: Hundreds rally against Putin in Moscow". BBC News. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2013. "They are a party of crooks and thieves," said popular anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who was one of those arrested in Moscow.
  4. ^ "В круге света: Миграция". Echo of Moscow. 27 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Политик Борис Немцов - об отставке мэра Москвы". Radio Liberty (in Russian). 28 September 2010.
  6. ^ *Финам. FM, Архив программы «Сухой остаток» от 02/02/2011
  7. ^ a b Ioffe, Julia (4 April 2011). "Net Impact: One man's cyber-crusade against Russian corruption". The New Yorker. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Guess who!". The Economist. 1 October 2011. ISSN 0013-0613.
  9. ^ "A Russian awakening". The Economist. 11 December 2011. ISSN 0013-0613.
  10. ^ Judah, Ben (2013). Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin. Yale University Press. p. 222. ISBN 9780300181210.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Kovalev, Alexey; Vladislav, Gorin (27 July 2020). "Это полный фейспалм Китай начал агрессивно продвигать себя через российские СМИ, но результат получается комичный. Оказалось, что КНР не хватает умелых пропагандистов". Meduza. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  13. ^ 19.07.2011. Левада-центр. О партии «Единая Россия»[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Левада Центр «Единая Россия» не может избавиться от ярлыка «Партией жуликов и воров» её считают все больше россиян Archived 2014-11-08 at the Wayback Machine, [Левада-Центр], 04.07.2012
  15. ^
  16. ^ Khazan, Olga (29 April 2013). "More Than Half of Russians Say Putin's Party Are 'Crooks and Thieves'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  17. ^ «Партия жуликов и воров» легализована (in Russian). 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  18. ^ «Партия жуликов и воров» схлестнулась в прямом эфире с «Партией убийц и насильников». Жириновский двум уральским единороссам из ФСБ: «Нам с вами срать на одном поле противно» // УРА.ru: 25.11.2011

External links[edit]