Gennady Zyuganov

Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov ( Russian : Геннадий Андреевич Зюганов ; born 26 June 1944) is a Russian communist politician who has been the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation since 1993. He has been Chairman of the Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UCP-CPSU) since 2001, a deputy in the State Duma since 1993, and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 1996. Zyuganov ran for President of Russia four times, most notably in 1996, when he came close to winning the election, but lost in the second round to incumbent Boris Yeltsin .

Early life and education

Zyuganov was born in Mymrino, a farming village in Oryol Oblast , on June 26, 1944. The son and grandson of schoolteachers, he followed in their footsteps. After graduating from a secondary school, his first job was working there for one year as a physics teacher in 1961.

In 1962, he enrolled in the Department of Physics and Mathematics of the Oryol Pedagogical Institute . From 1963 to 1966, he served in Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Intelligence Unit of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany . Zyuganov joined the Communist Party in 1966.

He returned to the teachers‘ college in 1966. Three years older than most of his class, he was already a member and a popular college athlete. On his return, he also married his wife, Nadezhda. He completed his degree in 1969.

Party work

Oryol Oblast, beginning in 1967. He became the First Secretary of the local Komsomol and the regional chief for ideology and propaganda. He emerged as a popular politician in the area. Among many other functions, Zyuganov organized parties and dances as a local Komsomol leader while he was rising through the ranks of the vast network of party apparatchiks . Zyuganov rose to be second secretary, or second in command, of the party in Oryol.

He enrolled at an elite school party in Moscow, the Academy of Social Sciences in 1978, completing his doctorate , a post-doctoral degree, in 1980. He then returned to Oryol to become regional leader for ideology and propaganda until 1983. In 1983, he was given a high-level position in Moscow as an instructor in the Communist Party propaganda department.

Zyuganov emerged as a leading critic of the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ’s perestroika and glasnost in the party‘ s Agitation and Propaganda division (later the Ideological division), a hotbed of opposition to reform. As the party began in late 1980s, Zyuganov took the side of hard-liners against which it was supposed to culminate in the end of the CPSU rule and the dissolution of the Soviet Union . In May 1991, he published a fiercely critical piece on Alexander Yakovlev .

Head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation

Zyuganov wrote several influential papers in the early 1990s attacking Boris Yeltsin and calling for a return to the socialism of the pre-Gorbachev days. In July 1991, he signed the “ A Word to the People “ statement. As Communist Party of the Soviet Union fell into disarray, Zyuganov helped form the new Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), and became one of seven secretaries of the new group’s Central Committee. In 1993, he became its chairman. Outside observers were surprised by the survival of Zyuganov’s Communist Party in the post-Soviet era.

Zyuganov quickly emerged as post-communist Russia’s leading opposition leader. He argued that the collapse of the Soviet Union has led to a decline in living standards, which has increased the share of the population, that has increased crime, and that the Soviet Embark on campaigns, sometimes violent, to win autonomy. Many in Russia for a long time, when a strong central government promised personal and economic security. Russians who feathers left behind in the new Russia emerged as Zyuganov’s supporters, including a number of workers, clerks, bureaucrats, professionals, and the elderly. As Zyuganov succeeded in combining Communism with Russian nationalism, his new Communist Party of the Russian Federation joined forces with numerous other left-wing and right-wing nationalist forces, forming a common „national-patriotic alliance.“

In the 1993 and 1995 parliamentary elections, the newly revived Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and Zyuganov emerged as a serious challenger to President Yeltsin.

1996 Russian presidential campaign

The results of the second round of the 1996 elections. Red highlighted regions where Zyuganov won

Zyuganov entered the 1996 presidential election as the standard bearer of the Russian Communist Party. Co-opting Russian nationalism, he attacked the infiltration of Western ideals into Russian society and portrayed Russia as a country that had been dismantled by Western capitalists, who sought the dissolution of Soviet Russia resources.

Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros , along with Russian oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky , Vladimir Gusinsky , Mikhail Khodorkovsky , Anatoly Chubais , and others feared Communist resurgence in Russia while witnessing Zyuganov present himself as a kinder, gentler Communist while attending the World Economic Forum at Davosin 1996. Chubais recalled, stating „I saw many of my good friends, presidents of major american companies, European companies, who were simply dancing around Zyuganov, trying to catch his eye, peering at him. with world famous names, with whom they have had the opportunity to be president of Russia, because it was clear to everyone that Zyuganov was going to be the future president of Russia, and now they So, this shook me up! “ Zyuganov threat. The oligarchs set aside their differences and held several private meetings in Davos hotel rooms, where they strategize over how to defeat the perceived Zyuganov threat. The result was the „Davos pact“, An agreement between Chubais and the oligarchs that he would lead an anti-Communist campaign against Zuyganov, that they agreed to fund. The subsequent months saw a massive media offensive as „money poured into advertising campaigns, into regional rounds, into bribing journalists“, all supported by the oligarchs who owned the major media. Yeltsin’s subsequent victory in that election can be traced back to the events that took place in Davos between Chubais and those Russian oligarchs.[2]

In the election on June 16, Zyuganov finished second with 32%, trailing only Yeltsin, who captured 35%. Zyuganov prepared for the July 3 runoff election with confidence. He ran a campaign focusing on the president’s health and pledged to return Russia to its Soviet days of glory. Yeltsin, however, relentlessly exploited his advantages of incumbency, patronage, and financial backing. Yeltsin gained from the elimination of the smaller parts of the world, as well as the support of Alexander Lebed , and eventually won the two-man showdown by 53.8% against 40.7%.

It has been alleged that Yeltsin may not have had the 1996 presidential election. Some results, largely from Russia ’s ethnic republics of Tatarstan , Dagestan and Bashkortostan . [3] [4] At a meeting with opposition leaders in 2012, then-president Dmitry Medvedev was reported to have said, „There was hardly any doubt that it was not Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin.“ [5] [6]


Political observers suggest that Zyuganov was still in force in Russia, and that it would be a remake of the communists into a strong opposition. But after the December 1999 parliamentary elections , the number of Communists in the Duma was reduced. Communist support started to decline, given the widespread electoral support for the government of Chechnya in September 1999 and the popularity of Yeltsin’s new prime minister, Vladimir Putin , who was widely seen as a Yeltsin’s heir apparent.

Vladimir Putin and Zyuganov
Dmitry Medvedev and Zyuganov

Unsurprisingly, Zyuganov placed a distant second behind Vladimir Putin in the March 2000 presidential election . In 2004, Zyuganov declined to run against Putin, who secured a landslide reelection victory .

Zyuganov has also been Chairman of the Union of Communist Parties (UCP-CPSU) since 2001, replacing Oleg Shenin .

In November 2001 In an open letter to Putin ahead of the summit entre the US and Russian presidents in the United States , Russia Zyuganov Said That Was Betraying icts national interests. „It is blindly following the position of aggression“. Zyuganov Putin Criticized For His decision the previous month to close a Cuban listening post That eavesdropped on US communications and a key naval base in Vietnam, as well as Russian media using bases for Washington in forming Soviet Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for ict Afghan strikes. „Russia’s national state and national interests may be betrayed“ at the upcoming summit between Putin and US PresidentGeorge W. Bush , Zyuganov warned. [7]

In October 2005, Zyuganov indicated that he would run for president in 2008, the second person to enter the race for the Kremlin following Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov . According to one report, Zyuganov pledged to quadruple pensions and state wages, should he be elected. [8]

2008 Russian presidential campaign

In January 2008, Zyuganov challenged Dmitry Medvedev , Putin ’s chosen successor, to an open, televised debate, [9] Medvedev goal refused to take part, citing lack of time. [10]

In the presidential election on March 2, 2008, Zyuganov garnered 17.76% of the vote and came in second to Medvedev’s 70.23%. [11]


On Zyuganov’s 65th birthday in June 2009, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented with a copy of the first Soviet edition of the Communist Manifesto . [12] On the occasion of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s birthday on 21 December 2010, Zyuganov called for the re-Stalinization of Russian society in an open letter to President Medvedev. [13]

After Putin’s annual address to parliament on 20 April 2011, Zyuganov criticized it as inadequate in dealing with Russia’s economic decline and warned that, „If the [parliamentary and presidential] elections are as dirty as before, the situation will develop along with the North African scenario. . “ [14] Zyuganov denounced election irregularities in the Russian legislative elections of 2011, but also expressed opposition to the organizers of the mass demonstrations of December, 2011who he viewed as liberals who exploited unrest. The communist party played a minor role in the protests, with one of its speakers, who called for restoration of Soviet power, being booed off the stage. Party rallies on December 18, 2011, in protest of election irregularities in Moscow and St. Petersburg. According to The New York Times , it is questionable that Zyuganov, due to his age and association with Soviet policies, will be able to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the popular Putin regime, or mobilize mass popular support for his party. [15]

Zyuganov is a harsh critic of President Vladimir Putin , but his recipes for Russia’s future are true to his Soviet roots. He is one of the world’s most important industries and he believes in the USSR was „the most humane state in human history“. [16] On November 29, 2008, in his speech before the 13th Party Congress, Zyuganov made these remarks about the state of Russia under Putin was in:

Objectively, Russia’s position remains complicated, not to say dismal. The population is dying out. Thanks to the „heroic efforts“ of the Yeltsinites the country has lost 5 out of the 22 million square kilometers of its historical territory. Russia has lost half of its production capacity and has yet to reach the 1990 level of output. Our country is facing three mortal dangers: de-industrialization, de-population and mental debilitation. The ruling group has noticeable successes to boast of, nor a clear plan of action. All the activities are geared to a single goal: Until recently it has been able to keep the wind at its peak.Gaspie and throws out to the population in crumbs, especially on the eve of elections. [17]

The party and Zyuganov supported the „promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors“, [18] [19] mostly referred to „homosexual propaganda to minors“ in Western media. [20]

2012 Russian presidential campaign

Zyuganov campaigning in Red Square

In September 2011, Zyuganov again became the CPRF’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election . According to Zyuganov, „a gang of folks who can not do anything in life from dollars, profits and mumbling, has humiliated the country“ and called for a new international alliance to „counter the aggressive policies of imperialist circles.“ [21]

In the 2012 Russian presidential election on March 4, 2012, Zyuganov once again came in second place by receiving 17% of the vote. [22]

„Shot like a dog?“

Following the 2012 US consulate attacks in Benghazi , Zyuganov generated controversy after a Chris Stevens ‚ death at the hands of militants in Libya by saying that US ambassador was „shot like a dog“ („был убит как последняя собака“ ). This caused an outrage from the US State Department . S. Obuhov, the press-secretary to the Russian Duma, replied: „The last ‚represents a last dog‘ a Russian proverb idiom, not in a negative goal in a positive sense, „explaining the false step as a colloquialism lost in translation. [23]

Political views

Zyuganov is a Christian communist . citation needed ] According to Zyuganov, Jesus Christ was the first communist, claiming the Bible may be read through to a socialist perspective. [24] Zyuganov also stated that Communism does not need to antagonize the Christian Orthodox Church.

Electoral history

Main article: Electoral history of Gennady Zyuganov

See also

  • Architect amidst the Ruins
  • A Word to the People


  1. Jump up^ Biography of Gennady Zyuganov and children
  2. Jump up^ Rothkopf, David (March 3, 2009). Superclass: The Global Elite Power and the World They Are Making . Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 268. ISBN  0374531617 .
  3. Jump up^ „Russian Elections: An Oxymoron of Democracy“ (PDF) . CALTECH / MIT VOTING TECHNOLOGY PROJECT . Mar 2008. pp. 2-7. Archived fromthe original (PDF) on March 3, 2016.
  4. Jump up^ Mr. Steven Fish (2005). Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics . Cambridge University Press . p. 33.
  5. Jump up^ „Rewriting Russian History: Did Boris Yeltsin Steal the 1996 Presidential Election?“ . Time . February 24, 2012.
  6. Jump up^ „Breaking News: Russian Electoral Fraud Existed Prior to Putin“ . Forbes. 25 February 2012. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014.
  7. Jump up^ Russian Communist Leader denounces Putin for US alliance.Archived21 October 2013 at theWayback Machine.
  8. Jump up^ „Leader Communists to Run for President“ . Russia Today . December 15, 2008. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007 . Retrieved 3 January 2008 .
  9. Jump up^ Minenko, Sergey (2008-01-18). Лидер КПРФ вызвал Дмитрия Медведева на теледебатыArgumenty i Fakty (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2008-01-20 . Retrieved 2008-01-03 .
  10. Jump up^ Krainova, Natalya; Francesca Mereu (20 January 2008). „TV Debates Decided Without Medvedev“ . The Moscow Times . Archived from the original on 26 February 2009 . Retrieved 30 January 2008 .
  11. Jump up^ „Medvedev ‚to continue Putin work ‚ “ . BBC News . 3 March 2008 . Retrieved 3 January 2008 .
  12. Jump up^ „Putin gives Communist surprise surprise birthday gift“,AFP, 29 June 2009.
  13. Jump up^ „Communists lay carnations for Stalin“ . AFP. 22 December 2010 . Retrieved 21 December 2010 .
  14. Jump up^ „Putin plan disastrous, opponents say“. AFP. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.[dead link][dead link]
  15. Jump up^ David M. Herszenhorn (20 December 2011). „Where Communists See an Opening, Many Russians See a Closed Door“ . The New York Times . Retrieved 22 December 2011 . He, [Gennadi A. Zyuganov], has joined in popular protest against the Putin’s government, while seeking to block the rise of liberal reformers.
  16. Jump up^ Kremlin has B plan for poll run-off
  17. Jump up^ Political Report of the CPRF Central Committee to the 13th Party Congress, by G.Zyuganov, November 29, 2008
  18. Jump up^ „Putin signs‘ gay propaganda ‚ban and law criminalizing insult of religious feelings‘ . .
  19. Jump up^ „Russian State Duma: ‚Possessed printer‘ or executor of the people’s will?“. . Archived from the original on 1 March 2014.
  20. Jump up^ „Russian MPs vote overwhelmingly to outlaw gay ‚propaganda ‚ “ . euronews .
  21. Jump up^ „Communists pledge to stop ‚dollar-lovers‘ experiment on Russia ‚ “ . RT. September 24, 2011 . Retrieved 24 September 2011 .
  22. Jump up^ the results of the presidential elections in Russia in 2012
  23. Jump up^ US ambassador to Libya was shot like a dog ‚- Zyuganov
  24. Jump up^ (in Russian) Christian Orthodox Communism in the Russian Fascist: who stands behind the back of Putin. „Argument“. 25 July 2014