The federal elections in Russia have passed. As we predicted, they were completely rigged by the regime. While it would appear that Communist Party received a majority of the real votes, literally overnight the authorities produced the result they needed. This brazen act of completely rewriting the election results will only provoke growing anger in society.
The falsification of elections to the State Duma, unprecedented in scale and cynicism, angered almost all Russians. Everyone has witnessed the naked bias of the bourgeois media, who are under the direct control of the capitalist authorities, and for months glorified the sitting United Russia party, while slinging mud at the opposition.
Meanwhile, all manner of obstacles were erected to impede any opposition candidates who represented a genuine threat to the regime. Their meetings with voters were disrupted, and they were removed from the elections on trumped-up charges, while illegal activities by pro-government candidates were covered up - of course, completely exposed the current criminal-oligarchic "elite".
But despite all these dirty tricks, the arguments of the opposition, led by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), cut through the morass of lies, and the masses paid close attention.
United Russia: if you can’t win, cheat
The level of trust in the authorities has reached a record low in recent years. Every day, more and more people find themselves under unbearable economic pressures, which are mounting on their lives. This distrust has led millions of Russians to reject Putin’s rotten regime, and search for an alternative.
When it came to the vote, the CPRF found itself ahead of the "party of power" in a number of Russian regions, as well as in a considerable number of districts of Moscow. The increase in the CPRF’s vote throughout the country indicates the desire of the Russian people to throw off the stranglehold of exploitation, open robbery and arbitrary abuse of power by United Russia and the oligarchy.
Nevertheless, throughout the election night, the number of votes cast for the CPRF miraculously decreased, while those for United Russia increased.
Reportedly, the number of household votes was manipulated by the inclusion of deceased persons on the electoral register. Also, employees of both state-sponsored and many private sector companies were mobilised, and forced to vote for pro-regime candidates and parties.
Electronic voting was extensively exploited as a way to steal votes from the opposition. The results of processing paper ballots unambiguously indicated that the candidates from the Communist Party took first places in all the single-mandate districts in the capital city.
However, the electronic vote produced the opposite outcome: with pro-regime candidates sweeping the board.
Many public sector workers were blackmailed helping to rig the electronic vote, working alongside a small group of so-called “computer specialists” (i.e. electoral falsifiers). Using these methods, many electronic votes were registered without voters even being informed of their choice.
In manipulating the election, the agents of the regime exposed themselves as the loyal servants of the interests of the ruling, who wish to ensure a political party amenable to their interests remains at the helm in Russia.
The masses saw right through this farce. It is inconceivable that pro-government candidates won in all single-mandate districts of Moscow, where the discontent of the population has reached colossal levels.
As a reaction to this blatant fraud, many Moscow residents came to Pushkin Square in the centre of the city on the evening of 20 September, to meet with MPs and candidates for the State Duma from the CPRF.
Despite the rainy and windy weather, and despite the gathering of a huge number of police transport vehicles, a decent number of people came to raise their voices against this injustice, as well as the utter cynicism of the ruling class and their representatives.
The continuous attacks on social guarantees, depriving people of the opportunity to have a decent job, receive normal salaries and pensions, have a reliable roof over their heads, receive free medical treatment, breathe clean air – are the essence of the regime’s pro-capitalist policy.
Given the level of anger and resentment against these policies, the only way for the ruling clique to maintain their grip on power is by manipulating and falsifying elections, and by strengthening the repressive apparatus of the state.
But rather than being cowed, these filthy measures will only cause the mood of resistance to increase in Moscow, and throughout Russia.
The speakers in Pushkin Square strongly condemned the actions of the regime that rigged the elections. They also emphasised the need for concerted action by the people in the struggle for justice, in addition to echoing distrust with the current electoral system.
The participants in the event unanimously supported the speakers, periodically chanting slogans such as: “Down with crooks and thieves!”, “Russia without Putin!”, “No to political repression” ,“Freedom to political prisoners!”
At the end of the event, Moscow CP branch first secretary Rashkin announced the beginning of a struggle for fair elections. At the same time, he announced a meeting of deputy candidates with voters, scheduled for Saturday at 2pm on Pushkin Square. He invited everyone who opposes electronic voting and who is outraged by the falsification of elections to attend.
In the days after the rally, activists of the CPRF, as well as organizations marching alongside it, began to face active police pressure. Among them were activists of the Marxist tendency.
The neighbours of one of our comrades, who were interviewed by the arriving police, said that they had come to inquire about him and his political activities, and also, as the police themselves said, "to inform about the inadmissibility of extremist calls and illegal gatherings."
Such repressive activity by the state and internal security forces indicates that the struggle is not over. In fact, it is entering a higher and more intense state.
The regime’s increasing authoritarianism and intolerance towards dissent will also mean an intensification of the struggle against it. Many layers of society who had illusions in reforming Russian capitalism, will be forced to reconsider.
The revival of support for the CPRF already reflects a growing radicalisation and rising anti-capitalist mood. In the next period, this mood will deepen and lay the basis for social explosions that will shake the regime from top to bottom.
Putin on thin ice
The Putin regime came to power in the late ‘90s, when Russia was suffering from the devastating shock of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was at a time where crime bosses, ex-bureaucrats and the stooges of western imperialism were in full swing, looting the state and society in general.
On the basis of striking blows against some of these elements and by using the income gained by rising oil prices internationally, Putin managed to stabilise the regime and project an image of himself as the father of the nation: keeping the oligarchs in check and securing a relative rise in living standards.
Now however, those days are over. The regime is at a complete dead end. Corruption and decay transcends every pore of the Russian establishment, and Putin’s patriotic proclamations are not having the effect they used to.
The masses were ready to a certain extent to accept Putin’s transgressions, as long as food was on their tables. But the amount of that food is shrinking by the day, while the clique at the top seems to be living their lives in luxury.
What is dawning on many people is: this is the best Russian capitalism can offer the workers and poor of the country.
In fact, the relative rise in living standards in the first 15 years under Putin were exceptional, and Russia is now returning to a new normality in which the lines between the ruling class on the one side and the workers and poor on the other will be drawn more sharply than ever before.
Step by step, it will become clear to wider and wider layers of society that the only way forward is the struggle for socialism, for the revival of the proud revolutionary traditions of the Russian working class and the 1917 revolution!