15 Sep. 2021 21:45
The State Duma elections will take place from September 17th to 19th. The Russians will elect 450 MPs for the next five years. But what do the parties stand for and what do they promise? RT DE offers an overview and introduces the Just Russia – For the Truth party.
Who is she?
Just Russia – For the Truth is a party that was founded in 2006 but has seen many changes since then. It emerged from the merger of three smaller factions, namely Rodina, the Russian Pensioners’ Party and the Russian Party of Life. Sergei Mironov, the head of the Party of Life, was elected as its head. The party has been renamed several times in the 15 years, but is still headed by the Saint Petersburg politician. It pursues a left-wing economic policy, but is strongly conservative on social issues.
Earlier this year, Just Russia took over the Patriots of Russia and For the Truth factions and added their names to the party’s official title today.
How did the Just Russia – For The Truth party fare in the last election?
In 2016, Just Russia received just six percent of the vote, losing two-thirds of the seats won in 2011.
Since then, the party has achieved some electoral successes, winning the governors of the Omsk and Chuvashia regions by landslide in 2018 and 2020.
The ruling United Russia party has decided not to run in these elections.
In the 2018 presidential elections, the party backed Vladimir Putin’s candidacy, with Mironov claiming he had no desire to “fight for second place”.
Who is supporting them?
Despite the party’s low position on the national stage, it has some niches with significant support in southern Russia, such as North Ossetia and the Astrakhan region, where Just Russia has a significant representation in the local parliament.
What does the party stand for?
Just Russia is nominally an economically left-wing party with right-wing nationalist social policy, but in reality it is a hodgepodge from the entire political spectrum. For example, Mironov himself claims to be a socialist. At the same time, its two co-chairs originally come from the Patriots of Russia, a splinter group of the Communist Party, and from the Party For Truth, which was founded by the Soviet dissident and writer Eduard Limonov. Limonov used to be a member of the notorious National Bolshevik Party of Russia (NBP).
For the 2021 elections, Just Russia has put together an election manifesto entitled “The 12 Principles of Truth, Patriotism and Justice”. The party’s promises include overcoming the income gap by increasing taxes for the richest citizens, regulating the price of tariffs on essential goods and focusing on a fair redistribution of household income from the center of the country to other, more distant regions.
In terms of foreign policy, Just Russia wants to recognize the right of the people of Donbass in eastern Ukraine to self-determination and to offer those who grew up in “Russian culture” an “easy and quick way” to get a Russian passport.
What else do you need to know?
The first name on Just Russia’s party list is Sakhar 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 Donetsk People’s Republic of Ukraine. He bragged about killing a lot of people.
He began his political career in the aforementioned National Bolshevik Party of Russia (NBP), a banned political organization that promoted some form of Russian irredentist neo-Sovietism and sought to unite both far-left and far-right radicals. He later joined the Other Russia party founded by the same man who founded the NBP, the infamous Limonov.
Prilepin is wanted in Ukraine on terrorism charges.
In the West, the most famous Just Russia party member is undoubtedly Steven Seagal, to whom Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship in 2016. He joined the party earlier this year and proposed action against companies that harm the environment.
more on the subject – Yabloko chairman on RT: My party is a window of fresh air for Russia