Gennady Zyuganov

Russian politician (born 1944)

Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov (Russian: Геннадий Андреевич Зюганов) (born 26 June 1944) is a Russian politician, who has been the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and served as Member of the State Duma since 1993. He is also the Chair of the Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UCP-CPSU) since 2001 and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 1996. He ran for President of Russia four times, most notably in 1996, when he controversially lost in the second round to Boris Yeltsin.

Gennady Zyuganov in 2018

Quotes edit

  • The powerful in their suits and ties are targeting not only Russia and Ukraine but also Europe. The United States insists on tough sanctions against our country, habitually using the “Ukrainian card.” At the same time, they are launching a new stage in the struggle against their competitor, the European Union. The U.S. has extremely low trade with Russia, but Europe has broad and profitable trade and economic ties with our country. A military conflict with Russia would allow Washington to drive European countries into new, economically-destructive sanctions.
  • In the majority of countries today the communists are struggling opposition parties. They are in the vanguard of the resistance to the anti-people policies of big capital governments. The coronavirus pandemic merely made more evident the cannibalistic essence of the bourgeois system. Millions of people across the world have become victims of criminal “optimization” of social rights, lack of access to healthcare and mass lay-offs.
  • Seventy-five years ago our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers upheld the freedom and independence of the Soviet Motherland, ensured clear skies above it, and confidence of tomorrow. We, the heirs to the victorious soldiers, are called upon to defend the truth about the Great Patriotic War and the Great Victory. The forces of evil are at pains to withhold the truth from humanity, to rewrite the results of the war and to carry through Hitler’s hideous plans. The present situation is complex and worrisome. Accomplices of anti-Soviet and Russophobic forces are active inside Russia too. They dish out dirt on the heroes, besmirch their heroic deeds and deny the contribution of the Communists to the Victory. We will do all we can to expose their slanderous attempts.
  • The freedom that socialism gave every man and enshrined in its constitution is the freedom not to be a beggar and not to be exploited. Freedom from the fear of losing one’s job tomorrow, of being unable to pay for one’s housing, food, clothing and vital medicines. Of not being able to pay for the education and feed one’s children. Not being able to support elderly parents. A freedom to feel a full individual and not a human good sold in the labour market. A freedom that was granted to all regardless of their background, nationality or profession. To workers, peasants, scientists and artists. Only such freedom can be recognised as true freedom. Its absence makes all the other freedoms meaningless.
  • Modern globalism is the highest form of imperialism. The onslaught of capital on workers’ rights is mounting fast. Imperialism is becoming more aggressive in the world and the threat of a new large-scale war is growing. The financial and economic crisis is worsening with each new wave being more grievous and painful. One side effect of the crisis is the groundswell of nationalist and separatist sentiments in contemporary Europe.
  • In this struggle we are inspired by the example of those countries where staunch supporters of the socialist option are in power. They are China which has the world in awe of its spectacular successes in the economy and the social sphere. Cuba, which the US imperialism has vainly tried to strangle for six decades. The dynamically developing Vietnam. These countries challenge capitalist globalization, refuse to submit to their diktat and score successes on the socialist path. The experience of fraternal Byelorussia is highly instructive.
  • Our main common task is to broaden resistance to the aggressive offensive of capitalism. To form a united front in support of the countries that come under imperialist pressure. To constantly expose the essence of capitalism which cannot exist without terrorism, wars, crises, destruction of nature and the suffering of millions.

Quotes about edit

  • When Leninism committed suicide, essentially nothing took its place. Except "transition" and "reform." In 1983, one perceptive scholar, surveying the ostensible hollowing of Communist ideology, had predicted that Russian nationalism "could become the ruling ideology of the state." A decade later, warnings about nationalism became highly fashionable. But such prophecies went unfulfilled. To be sure, Boris Yeltsin sought to rally liberal nationalists with his campaign for Russia's rebirth, which, however, turned out to be more collapse. Hardline nationalists drifted toward the re-established, aging Communist Party, whose cynical leader, Gennady Zyuganov, had conveniently been away "on vacation" when the president bombed the parliament in October 1993, and returned to fill the void in the "opposition." A chauvinistic grouping, led by the media clown Vladimir Zhirinovsky, also garnered a limited protest vote, for a time, while a handful of avowedly fascist associations, some affiliated with the reconstituted Communists, engaged in sporadic acts of violence, most of which went unpunished. But the pundits, mesmerized by the rhetoric and confusing the existence of chaos with the possible onset of powerful dictatorship, were wrong: the much-feared red-brown (Communist-fascist) coalition failed to materialize.
    • Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970-2000 (2008), pp. 188-189
  • Yet the death of communism in Russia had been much exaggerated. The December 1993 referendum endorsed Yeltsin’s constitutional project but only because his officials fiddled the results. Yeltsin also suffered disappointment in the simultaneous election to the State Duma. Instead of a thumping win for his supporters there was much success for the neo-fascist party of Vladimir Zhirinovski. What is more, the Constitutional Court in November 1993 had ruled the ban on the communist party invalid. Back into the legal political arena marched the communists under Gennadi Zyuganov, and they became the most influential party of opposition by the mid-1990s. Zyuganov understood that he would win over few voters if he called for the restoration of a one-party state. He repositioned the Communist Party of the Russian Federation by asserting its sympathy with that bastion of the Russian Imperial tradition, the Orthodox Church, whereas the party of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchëv had persecuted religion as the opium of the people. Zyuganov anyway cared little for Lenin. The communist he most admired was Stalin, who had led the USSR to victory in the Second World War. Zyuganov denounced the breaking up of the Soviet Union. He and his party hymned the welfare provision available under Brezhnev. They vilified Gorbachëv and snidely fostered antisemitism. Zyuganov stood against Yeltsin in the presidential election of 1996. He was in the lead as the campaign opened but lacked the resources available to Yeltsin, who enlisted the wealthiest businessmen on his side. The communist campaign was anyway a jaded one and Zyuganov proved a distinctly uncharismatic candidate. Despite serious cardiac ill-health, Yeltsin pulled himself together for the electoral contest. He toured the country. He spent freely on political broadcasts. He disbursed budgetary largesse to local administrations. TV and print journalists focused attention on the past iniquities of communism. The result was a second presidential term for Yeltsin and the definitive trouncing of communism in Russia.
    • Robert Service, Comrades: A History of World Communism (2009)

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