Speaking at a Moscow press conference, Gennady Zyuganov slammed the authorities for refusing to allow his party’s former presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin to run for parliament, and directed his ire directly at the president.
“I am now officially addressing President Putin. You, Vladimir Vladimirovich, only have two choices in this situation: either socialization or fascistization. History knows no other example,” Zyuganov said.
Zyuganov then went on to reel off a long list of grievances he believes show the country is moving in a fascistic direction. In particular, he noted “[the] repressi[on of] the opposition by force,” “hostile takeovers of state-owned enterprises,” and “cannibalistic pension reform,” as well as taxes.
He also attacked the government for its failure to “regulate the prices of even the simplest products,” and even blamed the Kremlin for the massive wildfires seen all over the country this summer. If things continue, “citizen discontent will inevitably grow, and it will only get worse,” he said.
“Even [former Russian President Boris] Yeltsin, who drank too much, had the sense and courage to turn the country to leftist patriotism,” he noted.
Russia’s Communists have amped up their rhetoric against the authorities in recent days, following a Central Electoral Commission decision to bar Grudinin from running in this fall’s parliamentary elections. Grudinin, the director of the vast Lenin State Farm, is accused of having foreign assets, which is forbidden for Russian MPs.
He has denied the allegations and, in response, accused the authorities of being scared of “the great effect of uniting the left forces.”
With an election just around the corner, more and more Communist politicians have come out with criticism against the Kremlin on a wide range of issues. On Tuesday, party spokesman Alexander Yushchenko slammed a decision by the country’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor to block the official website of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, accusing the authorities of abusing their power.
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