Sunday, February 28, 2021

Federative Party Absurdly Being Accused of Being a Khodorkovsky Project, Miftakhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 27 – Given the paucity of information about anything not being boosted by the authorities, it is perhaps no surprise that those not directly involved routinely come up with conspiratorial notions that all such activities are the work of outside forces like foreign intelligence services or Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Lenar Miftakhov says.

            Russia’s still-unregistered Federative Party has fallen victim to that tendency with numerous commentator suggesting that Khodorkovsky is behind the group because some of its members earlier were involved with his Open Russia effort. But that notion is absurd, the member of the party says (

            Those who are inclined to believe in conspiracies can seldom be dissuaded. Indeed, they often view efforts to dissuade them of what they are certain is true as yet another indication that they are right and everyone else is wrong. But in this case, the conspiracy advocates are wrong for the simplest of reasons.

            And it is this: what Khodorkovsky advocates and what the Federative Party does are diametrically opposed. That should lead those who think he is behind the group to ask themselves the simple question: why would the émigré opposition leader support a domestic group that is against his program and goals?

            As outlined in his latest book, Khodorkovsky sees Russia’s future “not as a union of regions (as our party declares),” Miftakhov says, “but as a country of cities” and not just of all cities but “only of megalopolises” around which the entire rest of the country would be organized.

            Khodorkovsky’s ideal is a Russia consisting of “a political union of urban megalopolises,” with the surrounding territories servicing them and their absorbing all the functions of the current federal subjects which would be disbanded to make this possible, the Federative Party activist continues.

            If the émigré political leader has his way, these megalopolises will have all the authority and resources of the former regions and all of them will be subordinate to the Kremlin” which will be controlled by those who share Khodorkovsky’s vision. “In my view,” the Federative Party activist says, “this is simply a new version of the empire.”

            The Federative Party in stark contrast wants power and control to be vested in the existing regions, to make their borders inviolable, and to have power divided between them and the center on the basis of their negotiated agreement among them rather than on orders from the center.

            Why would Khodorkovsky finance anyone who thinks that way? Miftakhov asks rhetorically.

            The Party currently plans to have a constituent congress in June. But even if it secures registration, something probably unlikely, it won’t be fielding its own party list for the Duma election, although some of its adherents may run as independents and even win places in the legislature if not this time around then in the future. 

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