Staunton, June 3 – More than perhaps any other political party in Russia, the KPRF has been split along generational lines by Putin’s war in Ukraine, with the aging leadership backing the Kremlin but the younger including regional leaders increasingly opposed to what they see as imperialist aggression, according to a survey by the Meduza news agency.
The KPRF leadership is trying to keep the lid on, imposing discipline when it can and compromising when it must but unable to stem the outflow of young cadres from the KRPF. Its imposition of discipline in Primorsky Kray has attracted attention (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/06/primorsky-kray-kprf-deputies-exclude.html).
But too larger developments certain to affect the party in the future have passed without sufficient notice, Meduza suggests. These are the mass resignation of party members in places like Surgut its frequent re-writing of its statement of support the war (kprf.ru/party-live/cknews/208821.html and meduza.io/feature/2022/06/03/odno-delo-zaschita-donbassa-drugoe-bombit-kiev).
One of the most important concessions the leadership has made is that KPRF members while still required to show party discipline on this issue in any collective or official capacity can nonetheless without penalty post their opposition to the war on personal web pages and blogs, sources in the KPRF tell Meduza.
Moreover, the party is losing control over the Komsomol on this issue. Communist youth organizations in Penza, Novosibirsk, and Saratov have all issued official statements in opposition to the war; and sources tell the news agency that opposition to the conflict is especially strong among Komsomol groups in Siberia.
“We initially reacted to the war as ordinary people,” one Komsomol member said. “Only then did we think as Komsomolites. We waited for the position of the party on this question” but it was clear that the KPRF itself is split and many even close to the top of the party are opposed rather than in support of what is the party line.
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