Sunday, January 23, 2022

Putin’s United Russia Party Can’t have an Ideology by Definition, Suchkov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 4 – United Russia is Vladimir Putin’s party. As such, Yevgeny Suchkov says, it cannot be an ideological one because it exists not to advance any specific agenda but to do whatever the Kremlin leader wants. Anyone who thinks otherwise is out of touch not only with how political systems work but how party construction in Russia takes place.

            The director of the Moscow Institute of Electoral Technologies says that efforts to give the party an ideological face are no more than temporary expedients designed to prove a more positive image of Vladimir Putin and will be dispensed with as quickly as they are put forward (

            The Russian people and most of the Russian elite understand this. They know and accept that “united Russia is a party that exists to support the leader rather than any ideology” and they also recognize that the party will move in one direction or another in synch with Putin himself. No one really expects otherwise, Suchkov says.

            According to the political technologist, “the executive power in Russia now represents ‘an anti-natural symbiosis of conservative traditionalism in domestic politics, imperial strivings in foreign policy and hardcore liberalism in financial and economic politics.” Trying to sum that up in a coherent ideology is thus impossible.

            As a result, “the formula – ‘United Russia is the Party of Putin’ – is the only possible one. Whether this is good or bad is another question. As long as trust in Putin is high, it is a good thing. But what will happen in the future is something that only time will tell,” Suchkov concludes.

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