Friday, February 21, 2020

Far Left, Far Right in Russia Join Forces to Oppose Constitutional Amendments

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 15 – Russian leftists and Russian radical rightists, two groups which until recently more often attacked one another rather cooperated, are increasingly coming together in opposition to the Putin regime and its current course, willing to put their differences aside in the face of what they both see as a threat to themselves and the country.

            Part of the reason for this arises in the weakness of the right whose leaders have been imprisoned, the inability of leaders remaining at large to attract new supporters by nationalist themes alone, and the willingness of some to join any protest that is going, including ones led by leftists (Cf. and

            But this trend suggests that discussions which focus on the left-right continuum are at a minimum incomplete and more than that may lead to false conclusions about the real divisions of organized Russian society and the possibilities that groups often viewed as enemies may come together at least for a time as allies.

            The latest example of the coming together of people from the radical left and of those from the radical life is a protest in Moscow’s Suvorov Square that officials approved to call for a referendum on any constitutional amendments, a change in the country’s leadership, and “a new course” for Russia (

            The meeting attracted 300 participants according to the interior ministry but 3,000 according to organizers.  Aleksey Polorotov of the Daily Storm portal says there really were “more than 300 but also fewer than a thousand.”  He highlights just how diverse those attending were, united only in their opposition to Putin and the constitutional amendments.

            But given that these groups aren’t supposed to be able to work together even on issues where they do agree, this example of a moment at which they have may prove to be a turning point and even open the way to developments that the powers that be will find it far harder to respond to than when meetings consist of only those on the left or those on the right.

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