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Russian Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Ephemera: A Finding Aid

Inventory. Folder 1.6
General Opposition GroupsElection sticker

Description of Selected Items

(Business cards - 2)

One card has an appeal "Primi uchastie v kontrole vyborov" / Прими участие в контроле выборов   ('Participate in Election Monitoring') and the contact information of Iabloko on the reverse side.

The second card depicts Viktor Ivanovich Cherepkov from Vladivostok. Along with the contact information, it has his photograph and a list of programs he was involved in as a member of the acting Duma of the time.

(Cards - 2)

One card is a postcard mocking a regular postcard. The sender is the civil movement "Ne koldyi!" / Не колдуй!  ('Stop your witchcraft!'), while the addressee is V. Churov. The card shows a cartoon of Churov posing as a sorcerer manipulating his magic wand with the word "Vybory" / Выборы  'Elections' as the backdrop.

The second card is an appeal to come to a rally on October 22, 2011 on Novopushkinskii Square /Новопушкинский сквер in Moscow. The text reads: "Tebia dostala vlast' i ee lidery. Tebia dostali zhuliki i vory zhivyshchie za tvoi schet. Postav' X na vorovskoi vlasti. Tvoi prikhod na miting - uzhe golosovanie protiv partii vlasti i ee marionetok, protiv proizvola i korruptsii v nashei strane. Prikhodi na miting. Provedem repetitsiiu vyborov." / Тебя достала власть и ее лидеры. Тебя достали жулики и воры живущие за твой счет. Поставь Х на воровской власти. Твой приход на митинг – уже голосование против партии власти и ее марионеток, против произвола и коррупции в нашей стране. Приходи на митинг. Проведем репетицию выборов   ('You are fed up with the authorities and and its leaders. You are fed up with the crooks and thieves who live at your expense. X-out the power of crooks. Coming to the meeting is already a vote against the party in power and its puppets, against voluntarism and corruption in our country. Come to the meeting. Let's have a rehearsal of the elections'). The text also has a link to the site along with a statement "Miting soglasovan s meriei" / Митинг согласован с мэрией  ('The rally has been approved by the mayor').

(Flyers - 18; 9 flyers are pre-election protest flyers and 9 are post-election flyers)

Nine pre-election flyers represent a number of political parties and groups, among which are "Pravoe Delo" / Правое Дело  'The Right Cause', PARNAS / Республиканская партия России - Партия народной свободы, ПАРНАС  'PARNAS', Rossiiskaia Kommunisticheskaia Rabochaia partiia / партия «Воля»  ('The Russian Communist Workers' Party'), and the movement IGPR (Initsiativnaia gruppa po provedeniiu referenduma / Инициативная группа по проведению референдума, which is an offshoot of the "Armiia Voli Naroda, AVN" / Армия Воли Народа, АВН  ('Army of People's Freedom'). The flyers also include a letter-appeal to the voters from "Tsentral'nyi Ispolnitel'nyi Komitet Mezhdunarodnogo Soiuza Sovetskikh Ofitserov im. Khovrina N.I." / Центральный Исполнительный Комитет Международного Союза Советских Офицеров им. Героя Советского Союза адмирала Ховрина Н.И  ('The Admiral N. I Khovrin Central Executive Committee of the International Union of Officers of the Soviet Union'), and a letter-appeal to Russian teachers from a Moscow teacher Il'ia Kuchanov, and a flyer that can be cautiously attributed to the Left Front movement.

Of the nine post-Duma election flyers, four are calls to participate in rallies held in Moscow: Dec 4 on Triumphal Square by Drugaia Rossiia / Другая Россия  ('The Other Russia') (; Dec 11 on Bolotnaia ploshchad' /Болотная площадь by (; Dec 21, 2011 at the Duma headquarters by an unannounced (leftist?) party; and Dec 25 on Prospekt Sakharova by One flyer by KPRF concerns the protests held in Astrakhan'. All flyers have minimal art, if any; the common appeal is to cancel the election results, to organize further protests, to fire and prosecute the Central Elections Committee, specifically, its chairman, Churov.

One flyer representing is entitled "Partiinaia Dumka - vne zakona!" / Партийная Думка – вне закона!  ('the Pro-Party Dum(k)a is unlawful!') and shows graphically the ratio of parties that were "allowed" to participate in the Duma vs. parties with no chance of representation. The slogan reads, "Ia ne uchastvoval v prestupnoi afere rezhima!" / Я не участвовал в преступной афере режима!  ('I did not participate in the criminal activities of the regime!').

One flyer signed by the movement "Grazhdanin nabliudatel'" / Гражданин Наблюдатель  ('Citizen Ombudsman'); presents the results of the elections in the Nagatino-Sadovniki district / Нагатино-Садовники of Moscow vs. the election results in other Moscow districts. It contains an appeal to become an independent monitor in the upcoming presidential elections.

One flyer signed by Rossiiskoe Sotsialisticheskoe Dvizhenie / Российское Социалистическое Движение  ('Socialist Movement of Russia') contains a general call for resistance.

One flyer signed by the Central Committee of the VKP(b) /ВКП(б) contains the statement "Ob itogakh parlamentskikh vyborov v Rossii" / Об итогах парламентских выборов в России  ('On the results of the Duma elections in Russia') and "O massovykh aktsiiakh protesta protiv fal'sifikatsii vyborov" / О массовых акциях протеста против фальсификации выборов ('About people's protests against elections fraud') Noteworthy is the party's harsh criticism of the ruling ER and the desire to distance itself from KPRF, led by Ziuganov, as collaborators with Putin's "clique" and traitors to the cause.

(Leaflets - 1)

The topic is "Za chestnye vybory bez fal'sifikatsii i manipuliatsii. Miting oppositsionnykh partii 26 noiabria, Bolotnaia ploshchad'" / За честные выборы без фальсификаций и манипуляций. Митинг опозиционных ('For fair elections without falsifications and manipulations. Opposition meeting on November 26'). In plain language it describes possible types of fraud vs. ways of countering them. The leaflet also contains three political cartoons, one of V. Churov.

(Newspapers - 3)

Two issues of "Patrioty Rossii" / Патриоты России ('Patriots of Russia') represent the political party of the same name, The newspapers are 4-page tabloid size, dated Nov 9 and Nov 23, 2011, with print runs of 57,000 and 80,000, respectively. Both issues have a photograph of the party leader Gennadii Semigin / Геннадий Семигин. The articles contain two main themes - "Nash put' - natsional'nyi proryv" / Наш путь – национальный прорыв  ('Our approach is a national boost') and "Patrioty Rossii za natsional'noe vozrozhdenie" / Патриоты России за национальное возрождение  ('Patriots of Russia support a national revival'). Both issues have a number of short statements by the party candidates, as well as photographs of the candidates. The Nov 23 issue has an article of local interest entitled "Za novuiu Moskvu! V bogatoi stolitse ne dolzhno byt' bednykh" / За новую Москву! В богатой столице не должно быть бедных  ('For the new Moscow! There should be no poor people in a prosperous capital').

An issue of the newspaper "Rabochaia Demokratiia" / Рабочая Демократия  ('The Workers' Democracy') with a caption "Proletarii vsekh stran, soediniaites'! / Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!  ('Workers of the world, unite!') is a 4-page long tabloid size paper issued sometime in January 2012 with a print run of 10,000. The editorial entitled "Daesh partiiu rabochego klassa!" / Даешь партию рабочего класса!  ('Let there be a party of the working class')) ends with a call, "Da zdravstvuet kommunisticheskaia revoliutsiia!" / Да здравствует коммунистическая революция!  ('Long live the communist revolution!'). The articles refer to a wide range of places, subjects, and issues concerning Uralvagonzavod's support of Putin, the workers' boardinghouse in Podolsk, Moscow region, a work conflict in Magnitogorsk, Ural region, and an automobile plant VAZ in Tol'iatti, Volga region.

"Vokrug odnogo pis'ma. Naskol'ko trudovoi Ural liubit Putina?" /Вокруг одного письма. Насколько трудовой Урал любит Путина?  ('Concerning one letter. How much does the working Ural really love Putin?'). The article discusses the issue of a widely publicized (and criticized) "grass-roots" appeal from the workers of Uralvagonzavod /УралВагонЗавод in support of president Putin. The Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) plant is a Russian machine building company located in Nizhnii Tagil, in the Urals. The newspaper also provides a short account of the party's political program "Na chem my stoim" / На чем мы стоим  ('What we stand for') and a reprint of a 1967 theoretical article "Intelligentsia i Narod" / Интеллигенция и народ  ('The Intelligentsia and the People') by the Marxist philosopher Mikhail Lifshitz.

(Ribbons - 4)

All ribbons are the same size (3x40), with similar fonts and of the same type of cloth. Three ribbons are white - in the tradition of the "White Ribbon" movement /“Белая лента”, which was originally organized in protest against corruption in Russian law enforcement agencies, but quickly became part of the opposition to the government at large. The practice of wearing white ribbons as a symbol of protest started sometime in early 2011, and became wide-spread during the fall of 2011. Slogans on the ribbons read:

1. "Ia ne smotriu NTV" / Я не смотрю НТВ ('I do not watch NTV'). This is the only ribbon in the collection that is green, not white. NTV is a Russian television channel founded in 1993. After changing owners several times, its current slant is strongly pro-government. During the 2011-2012 election campaigns it was widely criticized for favoring the government point of view and altering information on election results.

2. "NaX-NaX. Ia stavliu X na vorovskoi vlasti! Perecherknu biulleten' i postavliu krest naprotiv vsekh partii" / Нах-нах. Я ставлю Х [крест] на воровской власти! Перечеркну бюллетень и пoставлю крест напротив всех партий. nах-nах.ru  ('NaX-NaX. I will cross out the power of thieves. I will cross out the entire ballot and cross out all parties.'). This slogan was allegedly coined by writer Dmitrii Bykov, who is famous for being vocal in his criticism of ER. Semantically, the neologism nax-nax originates in the Russian version of the childrens' fairy tale "Three little pigs" / Три поросенка, whose names are Nif-Nif, Nuf-Nuf and Naf-Naf / Ниф-Ниф, Нуф-Нуф и Наф-Наф on one hand, and a euphemism for a Russian curse word, on the other hand. The combination of the two produced a very comical effect but, due to the transparency of origin, was soon considered unacceptable for public use, even by its creators.

3. "Ia stavliu X na vorovskoi vlasti. Doloi vlast' zhulikov i vorov! Perecherknu biulleten' i postavliu krest naprotiv vsekh partii." / Я ставлю Х [крест] на воровской власти. Перечеркну бюллетень и пoставлю крест напротив всех партий.nах-nах.ru ('I cross out the power of thieves. Down with the government of crooks and thieves! I will cross out the entire ballot and cross out all parties.'). The text on this ribbon is a censored version of the one described in (3).

4. "Za Rossiiu bez Putina. Facebook. VKontakte" / За Россию без Путина. Facebook.ВКонтакте  ('For Russia without Putin. Facebook. In Touch')). The protest movement after the Duma elections was largely organized through social media so references to Facebook and ВКонтакте are not accidental. (ВКонтакте ('VK or In Touch') is a social media service particularly popular among Russian speakers all around the world.

(Stickers - 5)

1, 2. The stickers are different sizes (7x18 and 10x29); the text on both reads: "Postav' X na vorovskoi vlasti! Golosui protiv vsekh!" (Cross out the power of thieves! Vote against all!" / Поставь Х на воровской власти! Голосуй против всех!  ('Cross out the power of thieves! Vote against all!"')

3. The sticker announces a protest rally to be held December 4, 2011, at Triumphal Square in Moscow. The text reads: "Vybory bez oppositsii - prestuplenie. Slomai sistemu" / Выборы без оппозиции – преступление / Сломай систему   ('Elections without opposition are a crime. Let's break the system'). The style of art used for this sticker is typical of agitprop / агитпроп of the 1920s. The sticker refers to the website of the Strategy-31 / Стратегия-31) movement and The name Strategy-31 pertains to the 31st article of the Russian Constitution that guarantees freedom of assembly. Traditionally, these rallies are held on Triumphal Square in Moscow on the 31st day of a month. The use of Triumphal Square / Триумфальная площадь), formerly known as "Ploshchad' Mayakovskogo" or "Mayak" (Mayakovskii Square) / площадь Маяковского, “Маяк” for protest rallies is an almost half-century long tradition which started in the early 1960s, at the dawn of the dissident movement.

4. The sticker reads "Cheburashka za chestnye vybory" / Чебурашка за честные выборы ('Cheburashka for fair elections') and has a picture of the popular Russian cartoon character Cheburashka wearing a white protest ribbon.

5. The sticker is a call to a protest rally on December 4, 2011. The text reads: "Krasnaia Ploshchad'. Sbor u pamiatnika Zhukovu. 14:00. 4 dekabria. Boikot nezakonnym vyboram!" / Красная Площадь. Сбор у памятника Жукову. 14:00. 4 декабря. Бойкот незаконным выборам ('Red Square at the monument to Zhukov. 14:00. Boycott the illegitimate elections.'). Left Front is an association of leftist organizations whose goal is to restore socialism in Russia. The party gained momentum in May 2012 several of its members were arrested and later prosecuted during protests on Bolotnaia ploshchad' /Болотная площадь in Moscow. The case is referred to as "Bolotnoe delo" / Болотное дело ('The Bolotnoe Trial'))

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  September 9, 2016
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