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New Left Review I/215, January-February 1996

Alexander Buzgalin, Andrei Kolganov

Russia: The Rout of the Neo-Liberals

For most analysts, including the authors of this brief study, the Russian parliamentary elections of December 1995 brought few surprises. The success of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (kprf), headed by Gennady Zyuganov, was expected. Analysts had also anticipated that the left-wing—more precisely, social-chauvinist—centre would receive about 40 per cent of the total vote when the results in single-member territorial constituencies were taken into account, and that an unstable equilibrium would come to exist in the Duma. So it turned out. What was surprising was the scale of the defeat suffered by the parties of the Right and centre in the party-list elections. The bloc, Our Home is Russia, headed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, received fewer than 10 per cent of the votes, while Russia’s Democratic Choice, led by the favourite of the Western media, Yegor Gaidar, attracted fewer than 5 per cent. This represented a powerful moral defeat for the rightists, with their policies of ‘shock without therapy’ (Gaidar), of war in Chechenia, and ‘depressive stabilization’ (Yeltsin and Chernomyrdin). The majority of Russian citizens came out in clear opposition to such ‘reforms’.

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Alexander Buzgalin, Andrei Kolganov, ‘Russia: The Rout of the Neo-Liberals’, NLR I/215: £3

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