Yabloko Treats The Other Russia As Opponents – Resolution
MOSCOW. June 16 (Interfax) – Most members of the alliance The Other Russia, despite their opposition to the incumbent Russian authorities, are the Yabloko party’s opponents, Yabloko’s federal council said in a special statement on Saturday.
“The Yabloko party deems it a matter of principle to act as a democratic opposition to the authoritarian system. Depriving the opposition of the value dimension in favor of increasing its size – with nationalists, Stalinists, and National Bolsheviks – is unacceptable to us,” the statement says.
“We view the concept of leftist-rightist opposition, including The Other Russia, Kasparov (Garry Kasparov, the leader of the United Civic Front), Limonov (Eduard Limonov, the leader of the National Bolsheviks), and radical Communists as typical Bolshevism, which believes that the end justifies the means and that power is the ultimate goal.
From the viewpoint of struggle for Russia’s democratic future, this approach is unacceptable and dangerous, and it will inevitably lead to defeats,” the document says.
The discussion of this resolution passed in quite a heated atmosphere and took about two hours, during which more than 20 people spoke.
In particular, there were proposals that The Other Russia not be described as Yabloko’s opponent in categorical terms and that Yabloko should cooperate with it “at least in certain events.”
However, an overwhelming majority of the participants in the federal council meeting disagreed with this position.
Some members of the council asked Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky why he did not include former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who currently leads the Russian People’s Democratic Union, in the list of Yabloko’s opponents, despite the fact that Kasyanov is also a member of The Other Russia.
“I decided not to put Kasyanov on this list at the last moment because he said he would never join those marches (Marches of Dissent) again,” Yavlinsky said.
“I was quite shocked to see the police trying to detain a former prime minister (during a March of Dissent),” he said.
Despite its negative attitude toward The Other Russia, Yabloko denounces the authorities for using force to suppress their actions, he said.
“We absolutely do not trust this group, but nobody has the right to beat anyone. If they get beaten, we will defend them, but we are not going to take part in their mob scene,” Yavlinsky said.
The St. Petersburg branch of Yabloko inflicted “great damage” on the party by taking part in a March of Dissent organized by The Other Russia, Yavlinsky said. “It is unacceptable for the party’s flags to be flown along with the imperial and National Bolshevik flags,” he said.
Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of Yabloko’s Moscow branch, noted that the government benefits from having the opposition like The Other Russia. “They can say: look, these punks, that is what they call democracy,” Mitrokhin said..