Russian version

Extremism and xenophobia in electoral campaigns in 1999 and 2000

Alexander Verkhovsky


In our previous review of the results of the Election-99, we analyzed the dynamic of the national-patriotic electorate on the basis of voting in the federal electoral district (e.g. proportional system). This analysis, on the other hand shall focus on the single-mandate districts.
In principle, the proportional system reflects ideological preferences of the electors with better clarity. Still, that statement does not apply to little-known political movements, at least in case of the contemporary Russia. The dominant majority of the electors retain leading parties only, therefore, it is more fruitful for the so-called parties-outsiders to promote "starring" deputies. The electors are much more likely to remember a specific candidate than yet another complex word-compound signifying an election block. Most of the parties-outsiders have practically no chances of overcoming the 5% barrier, but the single tour voting gives them a good opportunity to bring one or even several of their candidates to the Duma. Finally, small parties simply cannot afford a full scale All-Russian election campaign, while, on the other hand, their financial resources may be sufficient for one or several specific regions. It is also within the realm of possibility that in a number of cases the outsiders came forth with their party lists in the federal districts precisely in order to create additional promotion opportunities for some of their single-mandate candidates.
Radical national-patriotic organizations actually belong to that very circle of parties-outsiders. Hence for them it could be reasonable to focus their efforts on the majority electoral districts.
In this analytical essay, we shall talk solely about the radicals, therefore, the CPRF and “Spiritual Heritage”, whose results were discussed in the previous review, will not be considered. “Zhirinovsky’s Block” did not promote any candidates in the single-mandated districts simply because it did not make it time-wise, but a number of candidates that had been originally included in the lists of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (not allowed to participated in the voting due to fact that its leaders had concealed some portion of their income) did ran in the Election-99. We choice to include the “Congress of Russian Communities (KRO) – Yuri Boldyrev’s Movement” and Russian All People’s Union (ROS) into this analysis because of the tendency for radicalization that we perceive in the relatively moderate KRO and ROS. The “Movement in Support of the Army”(DPA), on the other hand, that had been regarded as communist and even rather moderate until recently, definitely earned the title of a radical organizations thanks to the efforts of Albert Makashov. So, we might as well begin with the DPA at once.

Movement in Support of the Army
General Albert Makashov, symbol of the DPA, sailed out of the election race practically on the eve of the Election-99. On December 15, in the evening, the District Election Commission of Samara Industrial District No.152 made a decision to revoke the General’s registration. They motivated their decision by the financial violations that had occurred during Makashov’s election campaign, namely – payments in cash for advertising services. There is no doubt that if all the Election Commissions had demonstrated such perspicacity and fidelity to their principles, the election might have not taken place at all. It is possible that Makashov’s men behaved with particular obtrusiveness, but it is just as probable that the Commission observed them with particular attentiveness.
Together with the revocation of the “Spas” Block’s registration, that incident can be interpreted as a manifestation of a new political course of the authorities in relation to the national-radicals – having become convinced of the ineffectiveness of persecutions for “inflammation of enmity between nations”, the authorities now prefer to find neutral but less debatable motives. Discussion of such politics of the authorities does not fit within the framework of this report, but we would still like, first-of-all, to welcome the first decisive steps of the authorities aimed at preventing extremism from entering the “big politics”, and second-of-all, bewail the awkwardness of their actions. The same General Makashov, by the way, intends to run in the special election on March 26 in one of the electoral districts of Ekaterinburg, where the election of December 19 was declared invalid (due to the fact that the number of electors that voted “against all candidates” was greater than the number of electors that voted for the election’s leader). And this time around, Makashov shall definitely do his best to avoid easily detectable violations.
Two candidates from the DPA, Victor Ilyukhin (Disctrict No.136, Penza Region, 30.6% of votes) and Georgy Kostin (District No.77, Voronezh Region, 21.6% of votes) made it to the Duma. When the Committees were divided, however, Ilyukhin was deprived of his position in the Duma. Therefore, the DPA’s obviously lost some of its political status. If Makashov does not win the special election, which is quite feasible, then the Movement, that gained only 0.58% of votes across the country, shall face a genuine perspective of joining the category of marginal organizations.
In the Russian original of this report, one can find a detailed table comprising data on how the DPA’s candidates and other larger election associations and blocks described bellow were losing the election. Herein, we shall only give a brief summary of that data:
The average percentage of votes gained was 5.50%
The following candidates came close to winning the race:
Let us point out that General Vladislav Achalov , coup activist and “Minister of Defense” in the White House in 1993, received only 7.35% of votes and, accordingly, did not come but third in his Electoral District No.177. By the way, even prior to the election, Achalov left the DPA’s federal list. It is also quite illustrative that the Cossack chief Nikolai Kozitsyn came second to last in the election race in his home-region (Electoral District No.143). His meager 3% of votes adequately characterize the election potential of Cossack organizations.

Congress of Russian Communities (KRO)
After long maneuvers, Dmitry Rogozin’s KRO chose Yuri Boldyrev, co-founder of the “Apple” (“Yabloko”) not so far back in the past, as their ally in the frame of election block. Whether Boldyrev can be now considered national-patriot is an open question (it is still probable that he landed in the national-patriotic camp only temporarily, in heat of the “struggle against corruption”). Therefore, we shall only analyze the results of those candidates that clearly belong to Rogozin’s part of the Block (accordingly, we chose to place the Block “Congress of Russian Communities – Yuri Boldyrev’s Movement”, that gained 0.67 of votes all-together, after the Movement in Support of the Army that gained less votes).
Only Rogozin himself actually made it to the Duma (Electoral District No.74, Voronezh Region, 32.5% of votes). In the Duma, however, he joined the pro-Putin group “People’s Deputy” (whose ideological compound is quite a medley) and got to head the Committee for International Affairs. In his subsequent statement the “People’s Deputy‘s” leader, Gennady Raikov, explained that Rogozin’s appointment “is a matter a principle” because “today the period of concessions to the West has expired”. That remark is important not only as a sign of changes in the position of the power, but also as a sign of integration of the most civilized elements of the radical national-patriotic movement into the party of that very power.
It is still difficult to say how Rogozin’s promotion is to influence the KRO’s fate. In principle, on the other hand, as an organization originally built on the foundation of Russian communities in the national republics, KRO may be perceived by the authorities as useful in the capacity of a foothold for the policy of re-centralization that, according to the on-going rumors, is planned by Putin.
However, in the national autonomies there was only one candidate from the KRO (with the exception of two autonomous districts, where the percentage of the “title nation” is so small that it is impossible to talk about discrimination of Russian population). Still, that single candidate – Nina Konovalova, Deputy of the Municipal Board of Adygea Republic – almost won the election in Adygea (Electoral District No.1): 21.23% of votes, only 1.09% behind the actual winner. It seems that the KRO has some election potential but still lacks the energy to use that potential. On the other hand, relatively noticeable successes belong precisely to the candidates in a number of “Russian” regions, and Vasily Belchenko, Deputy Secretary of the Regional Security Council in Stavropolsky Region famous for rampancy of nationalism, is the first one of them (Electoral District No.52). Still and all, his “record” result is 6.43% of votes.
The average percentage of votes gained is 3.45%

Russian All People’s Union
Sergei Baburin’s ROS, left with practically no allies, had poor results at the election – only 0.37% of votes. And, which is most important, Baburin himself failed. Four candidates from the ROS made in to the Duma:
(Nikitin and Bezborodov ran as independent candidates; in the ROS they enjoy the status of “supporters”.)
At the previous Parliamentary Election, the ROS had brought five Deputies to the Duma (and another two Deputies joined the ROS later on). Still, on the background of general decrease of national-patriotic movements’ popularity, even the present result can be considered successful. Also, it shall be demonstrated bellow in our report that among national-patriotic organizations the ROS had the greatest number of the “almost winning” candidates.
In the Duma, having found themselves without a leader, the ROS Deputies behaved in a rather strange way. The alliance with Communists, contracted in the previous Duma as the Group “Power-of-the-People”, was dissolved. Unable to find other national-patriotic associations of Deputies than the CPRF fraction and the Agro-Industrial Group, three of the ROS Deputies joined the unideaed “Regions of Russia”, and S. Shashurin (the most often tried Deputy of the Third Duma) joined a pro-Putin Group “People’s Deputy”. If Baburin does not return to the Duma in a short period of time via some special election, the ROS shall face inevitable marginalization.
The ROS’ election lists included a number of representatives of smaller and more radical national-patriotic organizations, such as the Russian All-National Union (RONS) of Igor Artyomov and “Russian House” Movement headed by Nikolai Leonov, former KGB General, and Alexander Krutov, the most prominent national-patriotic TV-journalists and Director of the Publishing Corporation “Russian Home”. Such choice of allies probably testifies to a certain radicalization of the ROS’ position. (A number of the RONS candidates did not ran on behalf of the ROS – for example, Artyomov himself ran as independent candidate, and Alexander Lyulko ran for the KRO.)
If in the near future the ROS becomes more of a marginal organization then, as it usually happens in such cases, the above-mentioned tendency for radicalization shall persist.
The average percentage of votes gained by the ROS’ candidates is 6.54%.
The ROS was more active than the KRO in running candidates in the national republics (we should take it into consideration that besides actually fielding a candidate, it is also necessary to collect signatures in his/her support). Accordingly, the ROS was more successful than the KRO in that domain: the ROS once again has the Deputy Shashurin of Tatarstan Republic, and the Second State Duma Deputy Zoya Kornilova received 23.70% of votes in her native Yakutia (Electoral District No.20), falling behind the leader only by 2.30%.
Furthermore, the following candidates had most significant success:
On the other hand, we would like to bring to the reader’s attention the respective failures of Nikolai Lysenko (1.07% in the Electoral District No.143), former leader of the National Republican Party of Russia and Deputy if the First State Duma, and Yuri Shutov (6.57% in the Electoral District No.211), on remand on a charge of organization of several murders. Nikolai Pavlov, Baburin’s Deputy who personifies the ROS’ radical wing, also found himself very far from the Duma (6.24% in the Electoral District No.168).

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR)
It becomes ever more doubtful from day to day, if the LDPR should be included into the list of radicals. In each subsequent Duma, the LDPR’s fraction has been showing more and more moderation. Presently, it is even considered to be something like an “extra” pro-government fraction. Nevertheless, the party’s leader still dares to come forth with strong xenophobic remarks rather frequently, and Zhirinovsky’s “men on location” have not yet lost their national-patriotic colors everywhere.
In the result of a number of internal party cleanings, almost not a single candidate of the LDPR could claim victory, and the leader himself did not run via majority electoral district. On the other hand, according to the data of the “Mercator” Group [1], the LDPR’s electorate has the most even distribution across the country if compared to other parties-winners. Mikhail Gutseriev, Vice-Speaker of the Second Duma, won very easily (Electoral District No.12, 51.13% of votes), but he traded his membership in the party and place in the Duma for the office of Director at the “Slavneft” Oil-Corporation.
The LDPR had the greatest number of candidates – 94. The average percentage of votes gained – 3.69%.
The following candidates were more or less close to victory:

Second-Rank National-Patriots
The first organizations to be classed in that category is Alexander Barkashov’s Russian National Unity and Vladimir Miloserdov’s Russian Party.

Russian National Unity (RNU)
The RNU, that had no federal registration, attempted to participate in the election in the frame of an election block with a radical national-patriotic movement “Spas”, founded by Vladimir Davidenko and Evgeny Loginov, Novosibirsk Zhirinovsky’s men. However, the Ministry of Justice succeeded in proving (even if with a certain delay) that at the time of its foundation “Spas” exaggerated the number of its regional organizations. Thus, “Spas” was deprived of the right to run its list. The list was supposed to be headed by Barkashov and, therefore, was to be associated more with the RNU than with the little-known movement “Spas”. Thanks to the interference of the Ministry of Justice, we are now unable to determine the RNU’s actual electoral rating and can only rely upon the evaluations. It seems that the authorities proceeded from the results of a closed survey conducted for the Ministry of the Interior and FSB that left the RNU with the rating of 6-8% [2] -- in other words, concluded that the list of “Spas” had a chance at making it to the Duma. We, on the other hand, are inclined to believe that the RNU’s rating is no more than 2%. In order to support our hypothesis, we shall present the results of the single-mandate candidates fielded by the RNU.
Fifteen persons intended to ran all-together, seven of them were fielded, and four managed to collect the requisite signatures. It should be noted, though, that this time around they did better than at the previous election:

Name, position in the RNU

No. of Electoral Districts

% (% behind the leader)

Place (out of)

Sergei Galkin, Deputy Chair of a Territorial RNU


4.01 (17.82)

6 (13)

Andrei Dudinov, Chair of a Territorial RNU


3.31 (14.77)

8 (16)

Andrei Eremin, Regional RNU Head-Quarters


3.05 (37.91)

5 (5)

Nikolai Dengin, Chair of a Regional RNU


1.26 (43.21)

11 (13)

The first three candidates, therefore, have beaten the previous record of the RNU in single-mandate districts which amounted to 2.53%. S Galkin and A. Dudinov both achieved their success in Stavropolsky Territory, where the RNU has become quite strong in the last few years, at least stronger than in the other regions. It is not accidental that the RNU managed to collect the requisite number of signatures for its candidates in three regions only.
Those more significant successes of the RNU can be most probably explained by the fact that the organization has changed its strategy: in the past, the RNU was as secretive as possible and almost exclusively preoccupied with military training. In the last year or two, Barkashov’s men have somewhat eased up on military training but started to come forth with street-actions more frequently, thus attracting the attention of other people than teen-agers fascinated with fascist romantics.
In average, the results of the RNU’s candidates that ran in the election look no worse than the ones of the candidates of more respectable movements. That is, their loss is not more disastrous. Still, they don’t win at all and don’t even approach victory within any significant distance.

Russian Party
Vladimir Miloserdov’s Russian Party is not among the well-known national-patriotic organizations. Still, the party succeeded in obtaining federal registration. Also, it is not the first time that the party manages to find the money for its election campaign (in 1995, there were several criminal “authorities” on the Russian Party’s list. Good relationships with the leadership of the CPRF also proves to be helpful. This time around, Miloserdov was unable to register the federal list but a number of candidates from the party’s list ran in the single-mandate districts:

Name, occupation

No. of Electoral District

% (% behind the leader)

Place (out of)

Sergei Chunosov, businessman


0.33 (21.14)

10 (10)

Vladimir Miloserdov, Party Chair


1.15 (15.29)

15 (19)

Lyubov Rozhkova, staff-member of the Duma apparatus


0.99 (33.90)

10 (10)

Nijkolai Bondarik, St.-Petersburg leader of the Russian Party, ran as independent candidate. It seems that Bondarik’s group really does not make part of Miloserdov’s party any longer but uses the party’s name. Bondarik, who recently got out of prison where he had spent 5 years for complicity in a murder, managed to received 6.08% in St.-Petersburg Electoral District No.209, having stayed hopelessly behind Sergei Stepashin but taking the fourth place nevertheless. The Electoral District No. 209 is certainly not in the center of St.-Petersburg but such evident success of a real criminal and extremist in the traditionally liberal northern capital of Russia evokes serious concern.

Small Parties and Independent Candidates
Numerous radical national-patriots sought election at their own risk because their organizations and election associations were too weak to add anything to the candidates’ personal possibilities (of course, there are some cases, when the candidate’s possibilities and his/her party’s possibilities are one and the same).



No. of Electoral District

% (%behind
the leader)

(out of)

Alexander Burulko (Duma Deputy)

"Otechestvo"/"Motherland" (Krasnodar)



1 (8)

Oleg Maschenko (staff-member of the Administration of Krasnodar Region)

"Otechestvo"/"Motherland" (Krasnodar)



1 (16)

Igor Artyomov

Russian All-National Union


14.94 (1.62)

2 (14)

Stanislav Terentyev

Union of Russian People


2.38 (27.28)

5 (14)

Lyudmila Kislova

RNU Support


1.31 (20.28)

13 (18)

Andrei Petrochenko

Support of Russian Orthodox Brotherhoods


2.93 (18.66)

10 (18)

Sergei Kravchenko


0.77 (20.82)

16 (18)

Vladimir Osipov

Union "Christian Revival"


0.74 (26.84)

17 (20)

Yuri Belyaev

National Republican Party of Russia


3.30 (24.28)

7 (20)

Valery Skurlatov



2.08 (15.77)

11 (13)

Anatoly Tishin

National Bolshevik Party


2.17 (11.85)

10 (17)

Alexander Vengerovsky

National Democratic Avant-garde, ex-LDPR


1.06 (12.96)

15 (17)

Alexei Vedenkin

Russian Patriotic People's Movement


1.03 (21.08)

10 (12)

Alexander Kravchuk

Russian Patriotic People's Movement


2.77 (16.04)

9 (12)

Stanislav Karpov

Slavic Council


1.09 (18.18)

15 (16)

Stanislav Terekhov

Union of Officers


2.13 (17.14)

11 (16)

Cheslav Mlynnik


1.13 (18.14)

14 (16)

Vyacheslav Marychev


0.85 (16.42)

14 (17)

Sergei Kolesnikov


2.63 (12.14)

8 (14)

Vladimir Bogomolov

Humanitarian Party, Russian Liberation Movement


1.25 (39.42)

12 (13)

It is possible that a few little-known activists were missed in the table above. But in general, the table does give the sense of electoral possibilities of small radical national-patriotic organizations on the local level. Herein, we should also mention Dmitry Vasilyev, leader of the National-Patriotic Front “Pamyat”/"Remembrance" who ran for the office of Moscow Mayor and received 1.04% of votes.
We would not assert that the candidates of Krasnodar movement “Otechestvo”/”Motherland” are national-patriots, leastwise of radical sort. But one way or another, although the movement is at the same time the local branch of the “power party”, they represent the national-patriotic movement headed by Governor Nikolai Kondratenko, whom we can class among radical national-patriots on the account of his infamous Anti-Semitic statements. Both candidates formally fielded by “Motherland” won. Both of them joined the “Agro-Industrial” Group” of Deputies, satellite of the CPRF. On the other hand, almost all of the candidates-winners in the region, even those that were not officially fielded by “Motherland”, had Kondratenko’s open support. For example, such is the case of Alexander Tkachev, communo-agrarian elected to the Duma via the Electoral District No.43 and appointed Chair of the Duma Committee on the Affairs of Nationalities.
Among the national-radicals, the best result belongs with Igor Artyomov, leader of Russian All-National Union (RONS), who missed the Duma by a hair's breadth. Natalia Novozhilova, journalist from Vladimir, believes that a lot of money was poured into Artyomov’s campaign. Even if it is true, his results still look almost unplausible and remind of the breakthrough to the First State Duma of Nikolai Lysenko, an even stronger radical. It should be also noted that Artyomov did not make part of the ROS’ list that comprised a number of other RONS’ activists.
In the article “Not a Victory of the CPRF but a Failure of Communo-Patriots”, we developed the thesis that the national-radicals’ electorate suffered a considerable shrinkage. Still, it has shrunk unevenly from the geographical point of view. Actually, in some places it has even expanded to a significant extent. The examples of Krasnodar Territory and Vladimir Region are quite eloquent.
The successes of some or other candidates do not always make it possible to assess the popularity of the ideologies of their respective parties. Of course, in addition to ideology, good organization of election campaign and certain personal qualities of candidates are requisite (if a party is weak, that a good candidate pretty much tows it behind him). But it is also very important that national-patriots, just like representatives of other ideological trends, are often in competition with one another. A great many examples can be made to support that assertion.
In Moscow, in the Election District No.195, there was a clash between Nikolai Leonov, one of the leader of “Russian Home”, and the leader of Russian Zemstvo Movement Elena Panina, somewhat more moderately oriented but ideologically close to Leonov. They received 13.61% and 12.24% respectively. If we put their results together, they would almost match the ones of the winner (Igor Lysenko, Motherland – The Entire Russia), and if the votes received by other national-patriotic candidates in that district are added, than Lysenko would be left behind.
In St-Petersburg Electoral District No.206, Yuri Savelyev (Movement in Support of the Army, DPA) was supported by many organizations, including the CPRF, RKRP (Russian Communist Party of Workers), DPA, Union of Officers, Union of Wends and even the so-called Slavic Science Academy. He received 12.2% of votes. Alexander Nevzorov, on the other hand, who had been expelled from that Slavic Academy right in October in 1999, received only 10.27% in spite of his considerable popularity. But again, if we add up their respective percentages, the total shall be higher than the percentage of votes gained by the actual winner of the election in that district, Yuli Rybakov from the Union of the Right Forces (SPS).
We are by no means claiming that in Moscow and St.-Petersburg national-patriots are stronger than liberals and centrists – none of them came to the election as united front. Still, it has to be admitted that the situation looks rather expressive for the capitals.
In the provinces, the competition was sometimes just as intense. For example, in Pravoberezhny Electoral District No.77, the winner, Georgy Kostin (DPA and member of the leadership of Russian All-People’s Movement) was opposed by a candidate of the KRO and three non-party candidates supported by local groups. Four radical national-patriots were competing in Ryazan’ Electoral District No.149: the DPA’s strong candidate was definitely encumbered by the more prominent on the country scale but less popular in the region Stanislav Terekhov (Union of Officers) and Cheslav Mlynnik (former Commander of Rizhsky Special Police Unit), not to mention the half-forgotten Stanislav Karpov.
In some place, the CPRF’s candidates were in competition with the radicals. Let us recall Pyotr Romanov, not only a communist but also well-known activist of the national-patriotic movement (for a certain period of time, he used to be connected with the Union of Russian People”). Romanov won with a great breakaway, having gained 37.39% (the candidate who came second received 19.43%). One can be only surprised that under the circumstances the LDPR’s candidate Nikolai Plotnikov still made it to the third place (12.92%).
Many radical national-patriots proved to be unable to collect the requisite number of signatures. Among those that sought election but did not get to run were Alexander Shtilmark, leader of the Black Hundred, Evgeny Arkhangelsky of Russian Patriotic People’s Movement (RPND), Alexandra Fedorova, Alexander Batt, the only contemplated single-mandate candidate of the Block “For Faith and Motherland”, Alexander Losev, co-founder of a Volgograd newspaper “Kolokol”/“The Bell” ( was supposed to run from the DPA) and many others.
[1] From the statement of Vladimir Kozlov, principal analyst of the "Mercator" Group, at the conference of the Public Foundation "Antifascist".
[2] Ibid
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