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Russian 2008 Presidential Election Ephemera Guide

Communist Party of the Russian Federation (КПРФ)

[Communist Party small poster]. Верен народу, нужен стране! [Loyal to the people, needed by the country!]. [2008]. Library of Congress European Division.

The Communist Party once was the only party in the Soviet Union. Now the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (КПРФ/KPRF) is one of several parties, but it endures as the second largest party in Russia. The party continues to endorse Marxism-Leninism, relies on nostalgia for the Soviet Union as one of its strategies, and would like to reinstate some form of socialism in the country.

During the 2002 election the party formed part of the "careful opposition." According to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, during the 2007-2008 parliamentary and presidential elections cycle the party received 12 percent of the vote for the Duma and 18 percent of the vote for president. The leader of the party and frequent presidential candidate is Genadii Ziuganov, whose portrait appears on many party publications.

The Communist Party was and still is a prolific publisher of pamphlets, newspapers, and ephemera. In this collection there are 14 items from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. In addition to this election ephemera collection, the Library of Congress also holds a growing collection of KPRF pamphlets, and additional KPRF materials in other Russian election ephemera collections, such as the collection for the 2011-2012 elections which is described in detail in its own research guide. See the section for "Related Resources" on the Introduction page. All of these collections are available in the European Reading Room.

To find the many books in the Library's collection written by Ziuganov or by KPRF, use the following terms to execute browse searches in the Library of Congress Online catalog:

Gennadii Ziuganov, Communist Party of the Russian Federation (14 items)

Cards (1)

The card commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Soviet armed forces. The front of the card is emblazoned with the party's logo on a red and gold star, a St. George's ribbon resting behind it. It bears the slogan “Ukrepim Armiiu—Zashchitim Rossiiu!” (Укрепим Армию—Защитим Россию!/We'll strengthen the army and defend Russia!) with Gennadii Ziuganov's signature below. The interior message is also signed by Ziuganov, praising the military's service and accomplishments, recalling its communist roots, and pledging the party's continued support for the armed forces.

Flyers (3)

[Communist Party flyer]. Портрет Медведева [Portrait of Medvedev]. [2008]. Library of Congress European Division.

Three flyers attack, in detail, the United Russia party or its candidate, Dmitrii Medvedev. The first critiques Medvedev's understanding of issues in Russian higher education, suggesting his performance as Chief Government Science Curator was abysmal and should disqualify him from the office of President. Another lays out his government career, painting him as a corrupt and corruptive figure, concluding with a bolded line reading “I etogo liberal-oligarkha nam predlagaiut izbrat' v prezidenty?” (И этого либерал-олигарха нам предлагают избрать в президенты?/And they are offering us this liberal-oligarch as president?) Both of these flyers mock Medvedev's designation as the “Preemnik” (Преемник/Successor) to Putin. The last flyer presents a broader critique of United Russia and Putin's “Vlastnaia Vertikal'” (Властная Вертикаль/Power Vertical), as a consolidation of power on behalf of oligarchs and the bourgeoisie.

Leaflets (1)

Fronting the leaflet is a portrait of Ziuganov superimposed over the Kremlin and a crowd of smiling people above the slogan “Dostoinuiu zhizn'—kazhdomu cheloveku!” (Достойную жизнь—каждому человеку!/A dignified life for everyone!) and the candidate's name. The inside opens with a series of questions and answers, first laying out national issues followed by their causes and Ziuganov's proposed solutions. A checklist of Ziuganov's policy positions includes headings like “Bogatstva strany—na sluzhbu narodu” (Богатства страны—на службу народу/Putting the country's wealth to serve the people) with corresponding policies beneath them, “minimal'nuiu pensiiu uvelichit' v 3-5 raz” (минимальную пенсию увеличить в 3-5 раз/increase the minimum pension 3-5 times). Another page includes endorsements from public figures, including the writer Valentin Rasputin, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Zhores Alferov, and Admiral Vladimir Komoedov.   A brief biography of Ziuganov concludes the leaflet, along with a final call for voters to support him on election day, March 2nd, 2008.

Newspapers (5)

These issues are of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, dated from December 2007 to February 2008. Two specifically concern Moscow, while the remainder are general party bulletins. The first dedicates most of its front and back pages to discussing Ziuganov and the beginning of the Presidential campaign. Several columns allege the manipulation and falsification of votes in the parliamentary election that took place on December 2, 2007. One article states that “The 2nd of December, 2007 will go down in Russia's history as a day of national humiliation” (2 декабря 2007 года войдет в историю России как день национального унижения/2 dekabria 2007 goda voidët v istoriiu Rossii kak den' natsional'nogo unizheniia), another features the headline “Izbiratel'nyji lokhotron” (Избирательный Лохотрон/The Election Scam). A separate list of slogans protest the alleged falsification of election results.

The remaining newspapers move away from general election concerns to focus more exclusively on Ziuganov and to promote his Presidential campaign. One headlines him as “Narodnyi Prezident”  (Народный Президент/The People's President) and a full interior page contrasts his policies point by point with United Russia's, framing the latter's as benefitting oligarchs and western businesses rather than hardworking Russians. The February bulletin contains a biography similar to one seen in the leaflet, as well as more endorsements from public figures. It also provides a breakdown of “Ziuganov's Team” (Команда Зюганова/Komanda Ziuganova), describing the people that Ziuganov, if elected, would appoint to major government posts.

The papers designated to circulate in Moscow include some of the same narratives as those in the non-Moscow editions. One article, “Naslednik ili Lzhedmitrii?” (Successor or False Dmitrii?), tars Medvedev as an unprepared 'heir', suggesting that he avoids TV debates with other candidates because he might say something rash that would embarrass both the oligarchs pulling his strings and Putin himself. Other columns address Moscow-specific concerns, such as the rising cost of living in the city. An interview with Ziuganov on the issue is headlined “Moskva tol'ko dlia bogatykh ili dlia vsekh moskvichei?” (Москва только для богатых или для всех москвичей?/Is Moscow only for the rich, or for all Muscovites?). The back page of one of the papers features the message: “KPRF—partiia budushchego!” (КПРФ—партия будущего!/The CPRF is the party of the future!) and contains columns by young party members living, working, and studying in Moscow. One column attacks the United Russia party's youth wings, Nashi and the Young Guard, as organizations that disempower and misdirect the creativity and energy of Russian youth, by molding them into political conformists without ambitions beyond the status quo. The other Moscow bulletin contains a piece about the party's 15th anniversary gala, as well as series of short endorsements and explanations of Ziuganov's policies penned by officials, academics, and various other communist party supporters in the Moscow area.

Pocket Calendars (2)

Two calendars for the year 2008, both slightly larger than a credit card. Each bears a different image of Ziuganov with the text of his slogan “Dostoinuiu zhizn'—kazhdomu cheloveku!” (Достойную жизнь—каждому человеку!/A dignified life for everyone!) while their reverse sides are calendars.

Posters (2)

Two small self-adhesive posters. Each has the same image of Ziuganov, but superimposed over a different background and with different slogans. One reads “Veren' narodu, nuzhen strane!” (Верен народу, нужен стране!/Loyal to the people, needed by the country!) while the other reads “Dostoinuiu zhizn'—kazhdomu cheloveku!” (Достойную жизнь—каждому человеку!/ A dignified life for everyone!). The image at the head of the page is the first of these two posters.