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MOSCOW, June 3 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian president received one more ally on the political scene. In addition to United Russia, the current ruling party, and the All-Russia People’s Front that was formed at his initiative Vladimir Putin received his own ‘commandoes’ in the revived party Rodina - “a party of patriots and moderate nationalists.”
The Rodina Party that was restored after a long interval held its first program congress last Saturday. The congress was held in a particularly militaristic environment - at the Museum of Armoured Vehicles in the Moscow Region, and many delegates were wearing the camouflage uniform. Informal leader of the party, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the military and industrial complex, came to welcome the party.
The Rodina Party, which Dmitry Rogozin had formed back in 2004, experienced different metamorphoses in its history, changed its leaders and joined different blocs. In Rogozin’s epoch (in 2004-2006) the party activities became more nationalistic that evoked indignation of the state authorities and they demanded that Rogozin, who fell from grace of the state authorities at that time, should resign. Then the party merged with Sergei Mironov’s A Just Russia. After the A Just Russia Party began to show some oppositional intentions and finally engaged in the conflicts with the state authorities, several members of the former party Rodina quitted A Just Russia. Finally, in September 2012 the Rodina Party was restored again and was officially registered that Dmitry Rogozin promoted actively.
Chairman of the all-Russia public patriotic organization Congress of Russian Communities and the Voluntary Special Task Movement (DON) Alexei Zhuravlev was elected chairman of the party in the previous year.
Rodina positioned itself as a loyal supporter of the president at its congress. As the party program Rodina decided to take Vladimir Putin’s seven election program articles, in which he set the guidelines of Russian state development in the previous year - on the question of interethnic relations, economy, development of democracy and the improvement of the state institutes, social policy, army reform and foreign policy.
Alexei Zhuravlev called the party as ‘the presidential commandoes’. “Each patriot should support the state authorities. Putin pursues the policy for making Russia stronger. A patchy, white-ribbon guard hates him for this,” he stated.
In his words, Rodina is already a real political force, because it has its allies in the army and the Navy.
Former State Duma deputy from United Russia, chairman of the Rodina Political Council Presidium Sergei Shishkarev elaborated the idea of the party leader, “Only a strong state can ensure a normal life in all aspects for its citizens,” and in Russia a strong state “is a strong president, whose word is the law, without any debates and contemplations among the state officials.”
The following slogan was composed at the Rodina congress, “Putin’s seven blows - for Russia! For Rodina!” (the pun between the name of the party and the word motherland in Russian - Itar-Tass)
However, the rivalry between the pro-Kremlin organizations is not in question yet. “We find the common language with United Russia, we maintain a quite constructive cooperation,” Zhuravlev told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. “Today we are not competing with United Russia, because United Russia meets us halfway in the places, where we can offer our more serious and solid party members,” he said.
As for the tasks for upcoming elections in the Russian regions due in September, Rodina representatives intend to run in 18 major elections out of 29 elections, if the elections of governors, mayors, regional Legislative Assemblies and city assemblies in the administrative centres in Russian federal constituents can be considered as such large-scale elections.
A source in the Rodina leadership told the newspaper that the party hopes for “a huge resource in the military and industrial complex and power-wielding agencies.” In his words, first, this is 1,500 military enterprises, secondly, this is the employees of the power-wielding structures that “like a patriotic and probably even nationalistic position of the party.”
The United Russia Party took it calmly that Rodina also decided to build its activities on the presidential election program articles. “In them the president outlined the key problems, which no party can ignore,” a source in United Russia told the Kommersant daily. “Rodina and United Russia can work for the fulfilment of the presidential policy, and each of them can use its methods to attain these goals,” he noted.
United Russia has its own pro-Kremlin electorate, political expert Alexei Makarkin believes, because such parties as Rodina aim at “the protest groups, which do not have anything against the president, but do not want to vote for United Russia.”