Rodina (political party)

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LeaderAleksey Zhuravlyov
Founded1998; 20 years ago (1998)
(as the Party of Russian Regions)
August 2003; 15 years ago (2003-08) (as Rodina)
2012; 6 years ago (2012) (refoundation)
HeadquartersMoscow, Russia
Membership (2006)135,000
IdeologyRussian nationalism[1]
Political positionFar-right[2]
International affiliationNone
Colours     Red
State Duma
1 / 450
Seats in the Regional Parliaments
20 / 3,980

Rodina or Motherland-National Patriotic Union (Russian: Партия "РОДИНА", translit. Rodina – Narodno-Patrioticheskiy Soyuz) is a nationalist[1] political party in Russia. It was a coalition of thirty nationalist groups[3] that was established by Dmitry Rogozin,[3] Sergey Glazyev,[3] Sergey Baburin,[3] Viktor Gerashchenko, Georgy Shpak, Valentin Varennikov and others in August 2003. The party's ideology combined "patriotism, nationalism, and a greater role for the government in the economy"[3] and is described as "far-right".[2] It has been banned in the past from taking part in elections after complaints that its advertisements incited racial hatred. The most notorious showed people eating watermelon and throwing the rinds to the ground, then called for Russians to clean their cities of rubbish.[2][4][5][6][7] Its headquarters were located in Moscow.

In the 2003 legislative elections, Rodina won 9.2 percent of the vote and ended up with 37 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. Novaya Gazeta liberal journalist Anna Politkovskaya stated that Rodina was a chauvinistic organisation that had been "created by the Kremlin's spin doctors" for the 2003 election and the "aim was to draw moderately nationalist voters away from the more extreme National Bolsheviks".[8] The Guardian claims that Rodina was "set up by President Vladimir Putin's allies" in 2003 "to leach votes from the Communist party".[6]


Following allegations brought by the Communist Party and ousted reform-oriented liberal parties such as the Union of Right Forces and Yabloko that President Vladimir Putin's United Russia had manipulated elections to ensure a favorable outcome, Rodina declined to field its own candidate in the 2004 presidential elections. This created a schism within Rodina as Sergey Glazyev insisted on running for President under the banner of an officially separate Rodina party, but Dmitry Rogozin was able to consolidate his support and defeat Glazyev.

In the aftermath of the 2003 legislative elections, the party mostly supported the policies of President Putin. However, four Rodina deputies, including Dmitry Rogozin, went on a public hunger strike and locked themselves in their offices at the State Duma to protest the welfare reforms being pushed through by Putin's government in February 2005. The bloc since increasingly adopted the slogan Za Putina, Protiv Pravitel'stva ("For Putin, Against the Government") and stated that its immediate goal was to win a parliamentary majority in the 2007 legislative elections.

On 27 January 2005, nineteen members of the State Duma, including members of Rodina and the Communist Party, signed a petition to the prosecutor-general demanding that Jewish organisations be banned in the Russian Federation.[2] This caused a political scandal, with then-President Putin (who was participating in commemorations for the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on the day that the petition was issued) expressing shame over the petition's content and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews issuing a statement roundly criticising the petition and its signers. The prosecutor-general in a later investigation declined to charge the signatories of the petition with fomenting racial hatred. In July 2005, the party's co-leader Sergey Baburin left the bloc, taking nine Duma deputies with him and forming an alternative group in the State Duma, which also calls itself Motherland. The split led to a reunification of Dmitry Rogozin's and Sergey Glazyev's supporters. Rogozin accused the Kremlin of waging a dirty war against his bloc, which he claims is feared by the United Russia party because of its potential electoral support. Rogozin had also announced intentions to take legal action against the State Duma for allowing Baburin to register his bloc in the Duma as Motherland, creating a potential for confusion within the electorate.

On 6 November 2005, Rodina was barred from taking part in the December elections to the Moscow Duma following a complaint filed by the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia that Rodina's advertising campaign incited racial hatred.[2] The advertisement in question showed Caucasian immigrants tossing watermelon rinds to the ground and ended with the slogan "Let's clear our city of trash". It garnered much controversy and opinion polls predicted that Rodina would come second with close to 25% in the December vote. Rogozin appealed the decision, but the ban was upheld on 1 December 2005.[9][7]

Rodina's difficulties continued into 2006, when it failed to obtain permission to contest local elections in a number of regions.[4] However, the party did come third in the regional elections in Altai Republic. Rogozin unexpectedly stepped down as party leader in March 2006 and was replaced by the less known businessman Alexander Babakov. Many suspected this was a tactical decision on Rodina's part to ease pressure from the Kremlin, although a small number of party members in Moscow had been vocal in their criticism of Rogozin's more outlandish nationalist rhetoric. On 28 October 2006, Rodina merged with the Russian Party of Life and the Russian Pensioners' Party into a new party called A Just Russia. Many of Rodina's parliamentary faction joined the new party, except for Rogozin, Andrey Savelyev and Glazyev, who at present does not belong to any party. In 2007, Rogozin was appointed Russian Ambassador to NATO.

Rodina was reinstated on 29 September 2012 and Aleksey Zhuravlyov, formally a member of the ruling United Russia, was unanimously voted to lead the party.[10]

Party name[edit]

The term rodina (Russian: родина) means "motherland".[3] It is one of three words in the Russian language that express the concept of "native land". Otechestvo (отечество) and оtchizna (oтчизна) both translate into English as "fatherland" and "relate to the country in which one is a citizen". Rodina means one's birthplace and is identified with the nation's soul.[11]

Electoral results[edit]

Legislative elections[edit]

State Duma
Election year No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
No. of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2003 5,470,429 (4th) 9.0
37 / 450
Increase 37
Sergey Glazyev
2007 Party was part of A Just Russia and did not participate in the elections
2016 783,316 (8th) 1.50
1 / 450
Increase 1
Aleksey Zhuravlyov

In July 2017, the chairman of Rodina announced that the only candidate whom the party will support is current President Vladimir Putin for the 2018 presidential election.[12]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election year Candidate First round Second round
No. of overall votes % of overall vote No. of overall votes % of overall vote
2018 No candidate, endorsed Vladimir Putin 56,430,712 76.7


  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2016). "Russia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Snyder, Timothy (20 March 2014). "Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bryant, Jordan. "Rodina". School of Russian and Asian Studies.
  4. ^ a b "Верховный суд снял партию Родина со всех ближайших региональных кампаний" [The Supreme Court has removed the Rodina Party from all the regional campaigns]. Oil and Gas Information Agency. 6 March 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ Blomfield, Adrian (23 November 2005). "Racist ads spark row in Russia's far-Right". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b Parfitt, Tom (10 November 2005). "'Racist' Russian TV advert investigated". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b Родина-2005: Очистим Москву от мусора! [Rodina-2005: Clean Moscow of rubbish!]. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  8. ^ Politkovskaya, Anna (2007). "The Death of Russian Parliamentary Democracy". A Russian Diary. Random House. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  9. ^ Babich, Dmitry (15 November 2005). "The Upheaval in France – an Inspiration for Russian Xenophobes?". Archived from the original on 5 May 2007.
  10. ^ Mamontov, Sergey (29 September 2012). "'Putin's Special Force' Reborn". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  11. ^ Bartlett, Rosamund (2006). "The Meaning of Motherland" (pdf). Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Доклад Алексея Журавлева на III Съезде партии "РОДИНА"". (in Russian). Retrieved 9 November 2017.

External links[edit]