UNITED RUSSIA (Russian : Еди́ная Росси́я, tr. Yedinaya
Rossiya; IPA: ) is as of 2017 the ruling political party of the
Russian Federation . United
Russia is the largest party in
Russia ; as
of 2017 it holds 342 (or 76.22%) of the 450 seats in the
State Duma .
Russia party formed in December 2001 through a merger of
the Unity party and the
Fatherland – All Russia party. As of 2017
Russia party supports the policies of the presidential
administration. The party's association with President and former
Vladimir Putin (a former leader of the party) has been
the key to its success. There is also evidence that the electorate
credits the party for improvements to the economy.
Although the United
Russia party's popularity declined from its peak
of 64.4% in the 2007 Duma elections to 49.32% in the 2011 elections ,
it remained the most popular party in the country, ahead of the
second-placed Communist Party at 19.19%. In the 2016 elections it
received 54.2%, while the second-place Communist Party received 13.3%.
The party has no coherent ideology; however, it embraces specific
politicians and officials with a variety of political views who
support the administration. The party appeals mainly to
non-ideological voters; therefore, United
Russia is often classified
as a "catch-all party " or as a "party of power ". In 2009 it
proclaimed "Russian Conservatism" as its official ideology.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Origins
* 1.2 1999
State Duma election
* 1.3 Creation of United
* 1.4 2003
State Duma elections
* 1.5 2007
State Duma elections
* 1.6 2008–2011
* 1.7 2011–2013
* 2 Electoral results
* 2.1 President
* 3 Current status
* 3.1 Federal Assembly
* 3.2 Party membership
* 4 Party platform
* 4.1 Electorate
* 4.2 Foreign opinions
* 4.2.1 International alliances
* 5 Structure
* 5.1 Internal groupings
* 5.2 Chairmen of United
* 6 Allegations of crime and corruption
* 7 Notable members
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 Further reading
* 11 External links
United Russia's predecessor was the Unity bloc, which was created
three months before the December 1999 Duma elections to counter the
advance of the
Fatherland – All Russia (OVR) party led by Yuri
Luzhkov . The creation of the party was heavily supported by Kremlin
insiders, who were wary of what looked like a certain OVR victory.
They did not expect Unity to have much chance of success, since
Boris Yeltsin was very unpopular and Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin 's ratings were still minuscule. The new party attempted to
mimic OVR's formula of success, placing an emphasis on competence and
pragmatism. Charismatic Minister of Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu
was appointed as the party leader.
In 1999, Prime Minister Putin's popularity soared to double digit
figures after he decisively sent troops to the rebellious Chechnya
republic as a retaliation for terrorist bombings in
Moscow and other
cities and in response for the Chechen invasion of Dagestan . Putin's
war effort was hugely popular and portrayed positively by the Boris
Berezovsky -owned Channel One
Russia as well as by state-controlled
1999 STATE DUMA ELECTION
Contrary to its creators' expectations, Unity's election campaign was
a huge success, and the party received 23.3% of the votes,
considerably more than OVR\'s 13.3% and within one percentage point of
the Communist Party 's 24.3%. The popularity of the prime minister
proved decisive for Unity's victory. The election results also made
clear that Putin was going to win the 2000 presidential election ,
which resulted in competitors Luzhkov and
Yevgeni Primakov dropping
out. Yeltsin also gave Putin a boost by resigning as president on 31
CREATION OF UNITED RUSSIA
While Unity had initially had only one narrow purpose, limited only
to the 1999 Duma elections , after the victory state officials began
to transform the party into a permanent one. A large number of
independent deputies who had been elected to the Duma were invited to
join the party's delegation. Many OVR deputies also joined, including
its leader Luzhkov personally. In April 2001, OVR and Unity leaders
issued a joint declaration that they had started the process of
unification. In July 2001, the unified party, called "Union of Unity
and Fatherland" held its founding congress, and in December 2001, it
became "All-Russian Party of Unity and Fatherland", or more commonly,
United Russia. In the second party congress in March 2003, Sergei
Shoigu stood down and
Boris Gryzlov was elected as the new party
Instead of the "communism versus capitalism" dichotomy that had
dominated the political discourse in the 1990s, in the 1999—2000
electoral cycle Putin started to emphasize another reason to vote for
his party: stability, which was yearned for by Russian citizens after
a decade of chaotic revolutionary change. With the exception of the
continued fighting in the
Northern Caucasus , Putin delivered it.
On 13 January 2003, United
Russia had 257,000 members, behind Liberal
Democratic Party of
Russia (600,000) and the Communists (500,000).
2003 STATE DUMA ELECTIONS
Throughout Putin's first years as President, the country's economy
improved considerably, growing more each year than in all of the
previous decade, and Putin's approval ratings hovered well above 70%.
Russia's economic recovery was helped by high prices for its primary
exports such as oil, gas and raw materials.
The passage rate of law proposals increased considerably after United
Russia became the dominant party in the Duma: in 1996—1999, only 76%
of the legislation that passed the third reading was signed by the
President, while in 1999—2003 the ratio was 93%. While Yeltsin had
often relied on his decree powers to enact major decisions, Putin
almost never had to. United Russia's dominance in the Duma enabled
Putin to push through a wide range of fundamental reforms, including
a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, an overhaul of the
labour market, breakups of national monopolies and new land and legal
Russia characterized itself as wholly supportive of
Putin's agenda, which proved a recipe for success and resulted in the
party scoring a major victory in the 2003 Duma elections , receiving
more than a third of the popular vote.
Throughout its history, United
Russia has been successful in using
administrative resources to weaken its opponents. For example,
state-controlled news media portrayed the Communist Party as
hypocritical for accepting money from several "dollar millionaries"
during the 2003 Duma election campaign. United
Russia also introduced
tougher party, candidate and voter registration requirements, and
increased the election threshold from 5% to 7% for the 2007 elections.
Opposition parties also made several strategic mistakes. For example,
Yabloko and the
Union of Right Forces seemed to spend more effort
attacking each other than Putin, which made it easier for United
Russia to win over liberal voters on the strength of market reforms
under Putin. The opposition parties faltered in the 2003 elections,
with the Communists gaining just 52 seats, a drop from 113 in 1999.
Liberal opponents fared even worse, with
Yabloko and Union of the
Right Forces failing to cross the 5 percent threshold.
2007 STATE DUMA ELECTIONS
Russia campaigners in
Saint Petersburg during the 2007
As the economy continued improving and Putin executed several popular
moves, such as reining in the unpopular oligarchs , Putin's approval
ratings stayed high and he won the 2004 presidential election with
over 71% of the votes. The 2007 Duma elections proved a stunning
victory for United Russia, which won 64.3% of the votes. The Communist
Party became a distant second with 11.57% of the votes. Vladimir Putin
was the only name on United Russia's national list, and his popularity
helped the party to ensure victory.
During the December 2007 election, the party was accused by voters
and election monitoring group GOLOS of numerous election law
violations banned in the Russian Constitution .
The legislative agenda shifted somewhat after the 2007 elections.
Anti-terrorism legislation, large increases in social spending and the
creation of new state corporations became the dominant issues, while
less energy was devoted to economic reform.
Then party leader
Vladimir Putin with Yury Luzhkov, Dmitry
Sergey Shoygu and
Boris Gryzlov in 2009 at the 11th United
Russia Party Congress
For the 2008 presidential election , United
Russia nominated Dmitry
Medvedev to succeed Putin. Medvedev received Putin's blessing and
scored a clear victory, receiving 71% of the votes. As President,
Medvedev nominated Putin as his Prime Minister. On 15 April 2008,
Putin accepted a nomination to become the party's leader, but declared
that this did not mean he would become a member. Medvedev has also
refused to become a member.
During regional elections of 11 October 2009 United
Russia won a
majority of seats in almost every Russian municipality. Opposition
candidates claim they were hindered from campaigning for the elections
and some were denied places on the ballot. There are also
accusations of widespread ballot stuffing and voter intimidation, as
well as statistical analysis results supporting these accusations.
Support for United
Russia was 53% in a poll held in October 2009. In
2010 and 2011, following the economic crisis, support for United
Russia went up and down, but declined overall. The share of the
population ready to vote for the party reached its lowest point in
January 2011 (35%), before recovering to 41% in March 2011.
The Agrarian Party supported the candidacy of
Dmitry Medvedev in the
2008 presidential election. It merged into United Russia.
Medvedev and Putin in the XII Congress of the Party, September
At the party's XII Congress held on 24 September 2011, Medvedev
supported the candidacy of Prime Minister Putin in the presidential
election of 2012—a move that effectively assured Putin would return
to the presidency, given the party's near-total dominance of Russian
politics. Medvedev accepted the invitation of Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin to head the party in the
State Duma elections and said that, in
Vladimir Putin should run for president in 2012.
Delegates applauded this statement standing and they unanimously
supported his candidacy for president. Medvedev responded
immediately, saying that applause is proof of Putin's popularity among
the people. Medvedev's speech listened to about ten thousand
participants of the meeting. Total congress was attended by about
12,000 participants, guests and journalists.
Also at the congress on 24 September was approved by the election
list of candidates from the party in the December elections to the
State Duma. The list includes 416 party members and 183 non-partisan,
363 of them for the first time participate in the elections. 29
September 2011 the list was handed over to the Central Election
Commission of the Russian Federation. The party list was led by the
President of Russia
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. 582 delegates of the Congress
voted in support of the list — against one.
Election program of United
Russia was announced during speeches of
Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin. Medvedev has identified seven
strategic priorities of government policy, and Putin offered to cancel
the erroneous tax debts of 36 million Russians in the amount of 30
billion rubles and increase from 10 October salaries of public sector
employees by 6.5%.
Vladimir Putin also said that taxes for the wealthy
citizens should be higher than for the middle class, and offered to
raise utility tariffs only excess baggage. Among other priorities,
Putin called a complete re army and navy in 5–10 years, doubling the
pace of road construction for 10 years, the creation or update of 25
million jobs in 20 years in and out of
Russia in the five largest
economies in the world.
At the party's XIII Congress held on 26 May 2012,
Dmitry Medvedev was
elected chairman of United Russia.
Russia decided not use his portraits of President Dmitry
Medvedev and President
Vladimir Putin during the fall election
campaign. On this 26 September the newspaper
Vedomosti citing a senior
source in the ruling party.
In March 2013 about 50 members of the United
Russia from Abansky
Krasnoyarsk Krai announced their withdrawal from the
party. They sent an open letter (it is said that under it signed 60
people) to the party chairman, Dmitry Medvedev, which criticized the
activities of the party which according to them has ceased to fulfill
its political function.
# OF OVERALL VOTES
% OF OVERALL VOTE
# OF OVERALL VOTES
% OF OVERALL VOTE
№ 1 PARTY LIST LEADER
223 / 450
315 / 450
238 / 450
343 / 450
Russia currently holds 343 of the 450 seats in the State Duma
. It holds 15 of the 29 committee chairmanships and 10 of the 16
seats in the Council of Duma, the Duma's steering committee . The
speaker of the Duma is United Russia's
Sergey Naryshkin .
The party has only informal influence in the upper house, the
Federation Council , as the Council has rejected the use of political
factions in decision making.
In April 2008, United
Russia was claiming 1.98 million members.
According to a study conducted by Timothy J. Colton, Henry E. Hale and
Michael McFaul after the March 2008 Presidential elections, 30% of the
Russian population are loyalists of the party.
According to the party's 2003 political manifesto, The Path of
National Success, the party's goal is to unite the responsible
political forces of the country, aiming to minimize the differences
between rich and poor, young and old, state, business and society. The
economy should combine state regulation and market freedoms, with the
benefits of further growth distributed for the most part to the less
fortunate. The party rejects left-wing and right-wing ideologies in
favour of "political centrism" that could unite all sections of
society. In addition, the official party platform emphasizes
pragmatism and anti-radicalism . The party regards itself to be one of
the heirs to Russia's tradition of statehood, both tsarist and
communist. United Russia's long-time moniker is "the party of real
Russia has always characterised itself as wholly supportive of
the agenda of the popular current President
Vladimir Putin , and this
has proved key to its success. A survey, whose results were presented
by Henry E. Hale in 2008 at the Annual Meeting of American Political
Science Association , indicates that the Russian population associates
the party with a market economic orientation, opposition to communism,
a moderately pro-Western foreign policy and a tough stance on
rebellious minority regions like Chechnya. Voters who support such
values are significantly more likely to vote for United Russia. Survey
results also provide clear evidence that Russians tend to credit
Russia (as well as Putin) for improvements in the economy.
Since 2006, when
Vladislav Surkov introduced the term sovereign
democracy , many figureheads of the party have taken usage of the
term. Former President and current Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev has
criticised the term. United
Russia voted against the Council of Europe
resolution 1481 (Need for international condemnation of crimes of
totalitarian communist regimes ).
According to studies, United
Russia voters in 2007 were younger and
more market-oriented than the average voter. The party's electorate
includes a substantial share of state employees, pensioners and
military personnel, who are dependent on the state for their
livelihood. Sixty-four percent of United
Russia supporters are
female. In the run-up to the 2011 Duma elections, it was reported that
support for United
Russia was growing among young people.
Foreign media and observers describe United
Russia as a pure
"presidential party" with the main goal of securing the power of the
Russian President in the Russian parliament. The vast majority of
Russia are members of the party, hence it is
sometimes described as a "public official party" or "administration
party" Because of this, it is also often labelled the 'party of
Russia has signed cooperation agreements with the far-right
Freedom Party of Austria and
Lega Nord of
Italy . It has a
tentative cooperation agreement with the populist Five Star Movement
Italy as well.
Vladimir Putin (standing) at the 9th United
Congress on 15 April 2008
In April 2008 United
Russia amended Section 7 of its charter,
changing its heading from "Party Chairman" to "Chairman of the Party
and Chairman of the Party’s Supreme Council." Under the amendments,
Russia may introduce a supreme elective post in the party, the
post of the party’s chairman, at the suggestion of Supreme Council
and its chairman.
The Supreme Council, led by the Supreme Council chairman, defines the
strategy for the development of the party.
The General Council has 152 members, is the foremost party platform
in between party congresses and issues statements on important social
or political questions. The
Presidium of the General Council is led by
a secretary, consists of 23 members and leads the political activity
of the party, for instance election campaigns or other programmatic
Russia runs local and regional offices in all parts of the
Russian Federation , and also operates a foreign liaison office in
Israel through a deal with the
As of 20 September 2005, the party has a total of 2,600 local and
29,856 primary offices.
Russia is a large and diverse party, and has several internal
subdivisions. The party has 4 internal groupings, organized around
common policy interests. In addition, the party makes use of four
internal political clubs to debate policy: liberal-conservative 4
November Club, social conservative Centre for Social Conservative
Politics, and conservative-liberal State Patriotic Club, and liberal
Liberal Club. Based on this division, the party considered entering
the 2007 Duma elections as three separate "columns" (liberal,
conservative and social), but the idea was subsequently abandoned.
CHAIRMEN OF UNITED RUSSIA
Sergey Shoygu ,
Yury Luzhkov , "> Russians protest against Putin's re-election
Russia has come in for criticism that it is "the party of
crooks and thieves " ("партия жуликов и воров", a
term coined by activist
Alexey Navalny ), due to the continuing
prevalence of corruption in Russia. In October 2011, Novaya Gazeta
even published an article describing how members of the public were
writing the slogan on banknotes in protest. In December 2011,
Vladimir Putin rejected the accusation of corruption, saying that it
was a general problem that was not restricted to one particular party:
"They say that the ruling party is associated with theft, with
corruption, but it’s a cliché related not to a certain political
force, it’s a cliché related to power What’s important, however,
is how the ruling government is fighting these negative things".
A poll made in November 2011 found that more than one-third of
Russians agreed with the characterization of United
Russia as "the
party of crooks and thieves."
After the 2011 legislative elections a few leaders within United
Russia called for investigations of fraud and reform of the party.
In August 2016, opposition leader
Ilya Yashin released a report
titled "The Criminal
Russia Party," which stated that United Russia
had essentially become a tool of political legitimization for
organised crime .
Vladimir Putin ,
President of Russia
President of Russia , former leader of the party
Boris Gryzlov , former interior minister , Chairman of the Supreme
Council of the United
Russia and former leader of the party
Vyacheslav Volodin , current Chairman of the
Sergey Shoygu , current defence minister , former emergency
minister , former leader of Unity party and former leader of the party
Mintimer Shaymiev , president of
Tatarstan until 2010
Vladislav Surkov , First Deputy Chief of Staff of the President
Alexander Zhukov , First Vice Chairman of the
State Duma and
former Deputy Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev , chairman of the party, Prime Minister of Russia
President of Russia
President of Russia and the Leader of the party's Federal
list to the Duma (Since 24 September 2011)
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Serbian Progressive Party
Serbian Progressive Party
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to UNITED RUSSIA .
* Official website of United
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born 7 October 1952
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