Russian Communist Party leader Vladimir Djuganov waits for visiting Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping at the State Duma on March 23, 2013.
The Russian Communist Party has been exposed as receiving money and other favors from the Chinese Communist Party and has been criticized as a Chinese agent serving Beijing in Russia. Some analysts believe that Russian political parties often smear and expose each other, but it is rare to play the China card to attack an opponent. This incident also reflects the various under-the-table interactions and delicate relations between Chinese and Russian political parties.
He was criticized for taking bribes for his book and speeches and his close ties with the Chinese Communist Party
Russia’s Fatherland Party published an open letter on May 3 accusing the Russian Communist Party, Communist Party leader Vladimir Djuganov and other top Communist Party officials of receiving money, other forms of support and operational instructions from China and the Chinese Communist Party. The open letter, addressed to the Russian Minister of Justice, calls for an investigation into the Russian Communist Party’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The open letter argues that the actions of the Russian Communist Party, Dzuganov and other top Russian Communist Party officials fully comply with the relevant legal provisions and qualify them to be included in the list of foreign agents.
The open letter says that senior figures of the Russian Communist Party frequently travel to China and give speeches. Three of Dzhuganov’s books were translated and published in China for fees. One of Dzhuganov’s grandsons is also studying Chinese and living in China under the guise of a study abroad internship. Another top Russian Communist Party official, former Irkutsk governor Levchenko, spends up to a third of the year in China with his wife.
The open letter said that getting paid for speeches and books could be seen as a covert way to receive bribes. “The Fatherland Party therefore believes that Dzhuganov and others have received foreign funding for their political activities in Russia in a covert manner.
The letter also criticizes the Communist Party’s top officials for not caring about Russia’s internal affairs, but for promoting China and the Communist Party in Russia’s main official media. In particular, the letter mentions the support of the First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia, Vladimir Afonen, for China on the issues of Tibet, Xinjiang and Xinjiang cotton, and praises Beijing for its contribution to the development of Tibet and Xinjiang.
Against the backdrop of the generally aging membership of the Russian Communist Party, Afonin is considered a young political star in the Russian Communist Party. Some even see him as a future successor to Dzhuganov in leading the Russian Communist Party.
Russia’s political scene is complicated, but it is very rare to use China as an excuse
“The open letter of the Fatherland Party also cites criticism of the Russian Communist Party’s relations with China by an online media outlet called “Moscow News”. The media outlet criticized the Russian Communist Party for becoming a proxy for China, as many of its leading members are wealthy plutocrats, while the Chinese Communist Party also serves today’s Chinese big bourgeoisie and does not represent the working class, which works more than 10 hours a day.
Russia will hold parliamentary elections in September, and political parties have already begun preparing for them. Political parties and individuals defined as foreign agents will likely be shut out of the election campaign.
According to Russian political scientists, the open letter raises the question of whether this is an attack on the Russian Communist Party by the Fatherland Party itself. Or is the “Fatherland Party” being directed and this is just the beginning of a massive campaign against the Communist Party?
Some analysts believe that the Communist Party of Russia is still an important political force in the left-wing camp that cannot be replaced at the moment. On the eve of the parliamentary elections, the Kremlin may use the “Fatherland” party to warn the Communist Party and the Dzhuganovs that they have something on their hands and that they will be in trouble if the Dzhuganovs do not listen and play by the official rules of the game.
It has happened in the past that political parties in the Russian political arena have attacked each other, but at a time when Russia-China relations are getting closer, it is very rare to use China as an excuse to attack the opponent.
Russian Communist Party sees it as normal work to help Kremlin diplomacy
The Communist Party of Russia has scoffed at the open letter from the Fatherland Party. Yushchenko, a leading member of the Russian Communist Party, a press spokesman for Dzhuganov and a member of the State Duma, said that on the one hand it was a directed attack on the Russian Communist Party. On the other hand, the popularity of the Communist Party of Russia has increased and the Fatherland Party wants to use it to gain more support for itself, and the Communist Party of Russia does not want to be used as an advertisement for a second-rate party.
Yushchenko said that interaction with the Communist Party of China is a normal part of the political work of the Communist Party of Russia and that the Communist Party of Russia has never tried to hide it from anyone. He said that the Russian Communist Party also cooperates with the communist parties of Cuba, Vietnam and other countries, and according to the logic of the open letter, the Russian Communist Party would become an agent of all countries.
However, there is also a precedent for the Russian Communist Party to help in the Kremlin’s diplomatic activities. Many years ago Russia supported the West and the international community in sanctioning North Korea. At that time, the Russian Communist Party sent delegations to Pyongyang several times, serving as another conduit for Russia’s interaction with North Korea.
Russia’s second largest political party is a favorite of the Communist Party’s official media
The Communist Party of Russia holds events every year on the anniversaries of Lenin’s and Stalin’s births and deaths, May Day and October Revolution Day. The Communist Party of Russia is currently the second largest political party in Russia. Its popularity rating has been stable, hovering between 12% and 13%, but is much lower than that of the ruling United Russia party. The United Russia party also has close ties with China, and the two sides have regular meetings.
In recent years, Russian Communist Party leaders, scholars, sinologists, and political figures who are members of the Communist Party have been favorite interviewees and guests of the Chinese Communist Party’s official media. Speaking to Chinese official media in March, Djuganov said that they are also preparing to celebrate the centenary of the Communist Party’s founding. He said it was a big event for the world and the Russian Communist Party, and that he was proud of his many visits to China.
Some Russian celebrities who are members of the Communist Party also like to post pictures on social media of trips to China, seminars, visits to the Chinese Embassy in Moscow and lavish Chinese banquets.
The conservative nationalist party “Fatherland” currently has a popularity rating of only about 1%. In contrast to the skinheads who used to violently attack foreigners years ago, the Fatherland Party is seen as taking a civilized approach to promoting Russian nationalism.
Nationalist parties are also linked to China
“The leader of the Fatherland Party is a well-known Russian political figure named Rogozin. Rogozin was a former Russian deputy prime minister and is currently the head of Roscosmos, which has a lot of cooperation with China.
Many analysts believe that the Fatherland Party also has close ties with China. Some economists and politicians with the background of the “Fatherland Party” often visit China, and some of them have visited the Mao Memorial Hall in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
In addition to Rogozin, another founder of the Fatherland Party is the famous left-wing economist and former economic adviser to Vladimir Putin, Gragiyaev. But Geragiev is also a member of the Communist Party of Russia, and he was a member of the Communist Party of Russia in the State Duma many years ago. Chinese media are also fond of quoting Geragiev’s words to explain the collapse of the Soviet Union, current Russian politics and Sino-Russian relations.
Criticized for no longer being a traditional communist party, China’s investment hardly pays off?
Current affairs commentator Nikolsky said that today’s Russian Communist Party is made up of a group of nationalists and that many of Dzhuganov’s statements are xenophobic and contradict the traditional communist doctrine of internationalism.
These people in the Communist Party of Russia are also very good at seeing the wind and reaping dividends, and China’s help to the Communist Party of Russia may not be reciprocated, Nikolsky said.
I also see that the Chinese Communist Party is indeed actively helping the Russian Communist Party,” Nikolsky said. The regular meetings between the two sides give the impression that the Communist Party is not alone. But today the Russian Communist Party is a completely different party and a different kind of activity.”
Nikolsky said that to please voters, people such as Dyuganov have now become Orthodox Christians and the Russian Communist Party can be called an Orthodox Communist Party. This is completely different from the Communist Party’s approach to religion.
During the 2018 Russian presidential election, Grudinin, the chairman of a farming community outside Moscow and a wealthy man who represented the Russian Communist Party in the election, told voters in the Far East that Chinese immigration should be limited and Chinese Communist expansion prevented.
A number of other smaller Russian left-wing parties that believe in communism and Marxism-Leninism have also criticized the Russian Communist Party’s top echelons as long corrupt and degenerate. Some analysts say that in today’s Russian political environment, the Russian Communist Party is also firmly under the control of the Kremlin. Unlike some opposition parties outside the system that are not allowed to hold rallies, which are dispersed and participants arrested, the Russian Communist Party, which is known as the institutional opposition, is usually allowed to hold rallies and no one is arrested.