INSOR Russia: Institute of Contemporary Development
Updated June 28, 2019

January 23, 2012

Россия в иностранной прессе

RUSSIA’S COMMUNIST PARTY FINDS ITSELF AT A FAMILIAR CROSSROADS

The Washington Post

The Communists rely on a small but cohesive core of members, who number 154,244, according to the Ministry of Justice, compared with United Russia’s 2,073,722 members. Many party members are in their 50s or 60s and dwell psychologically in the Soviet Union, said Boris Makarenko, deputy director of the Center for Political Technologies. The protest voters make less than ideal fellow travelers, concentrated as they are in the big cities among the urban middle class. It will not be easy to profit from the windfall, he said. “The Communist Party will not do anything to lose their core votes,” Makarenko said. “The party’s ability to change is severely limited.”

Zyuganov likes the comfy status of official, unthreatening opposition, Makarenko said, so instead of heralding a bright, new future, the Dec. 4 election may well mark the party’s inexorable retreat toward what one of its early revolutionaries called “the dustbin of history.”