Russians are allowed to go voting and there will be only one winner: Vladimir Putin. The dictator of Russia controls not only the state, but also the media and the minds of millions. He uses Russian chauvinism to hide the obvious facts, that Russia is suffering a huge economic crisis. Poverty is huge and many workers suffer from it. Yet the Kremlin oligarchy does not care, they hide the deep inequality by boosting nationalism and patriotism. To be openly critical about Putin is dangerous as many critics have face state prosecution. This is why any election in the Russian Federation will always result in a victory for the Kremlin and the oligarchy!
There are eight candidates for the presidency in this election. But none are a alternative for working class people. There are two official ”communist” candidates, one is from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and the other is of the party; Communists of Russia (KR). Both parties are deeply Stalinist and glorify the dictatorial bureaucracy that ruled the former USSR. However the KPRF is not a true communist party as it has nominated a billionaire to be its candidate. Pavel Grudinin is not even a member of the KPRF, yet the Stalinist party selected him to be their candidate. Maxim Suraykin of the Communists of Russia is very right when he criticizes the KPRF for nominated a member of the oligarchy as their choice. Despite this fact the KR itself is a typical Russian Stalinist party, that plays on nostalgia for the Stalin era. It also promotes social-conservative viewpoints like reintroducing the death penalty and a deep hostility towards LGBT+ rights!
The other candidates are typical bourgeois. Ksenia Sobchak is the only woman, but a deeply right-wing candidate. She wants to privatize the whole Russian economy, this makes her a true capitalist candidate. Like the others, Sobchak is an open nationalist and will support Vladimir Putin once he is ”reelected” as president. This is what all candidates share. They may oppose Putin during this election, but will never directly critize his regime. After the elections are over, all candidates will stand with the Kremlin against the enemies of Russia. This shows why the elections are nothing more then a propaganda show, to give Russians the illusion that these candidates differ from each other. The Stalinist candidates too have shown to support Putin, despite the fact that he is the richest man in Russia. In secret it is said that he owns billions in dollars, stored in banks under different names and companies!
There is no independent socialist candidate running. This is because the Kremlin will not allow anybody to run that could be a true force of opposition against their strong man. Revolutionary socialists therefore call for a boycott of the election. Russian workers have nothing to gain by voting for candidates that are approved by an oligarch government. Vladimir Putin knows that he will be the winner, he does not even campaign on his own behave. He does not enter debates and is not visiting places to speak to his supporters. Why would he? Putin knows the true game and waits until the bureaucracy reinstall him as President of the Russian Federation. The workers movement need to build their own political force against the reactionary forces led by Putin. A big obstacle is the position of the Russian left-wing regarding elections. Sergei Udaltsov is the face of the Left Front, which unites some radical leftist parties. Unfortunate this Udaltsov is not a real revolutionary socialist. He is supportive of the Russian nationalist separatists in Ukraine, he supports a (social democratic) capitalist economy and worked for the pseudo-Communist Party of the Russian Federation in 2012. For the 2018 presidential election the face of the Left Front openly supports Pavel Grudinin, an oligarch capitalist!
Reality shows that there is no true left-wing in Russia. What is called leftist is in fact social-conservative (anti-LGBT+), pro-Kremlin and even pro-capitalist. The communist parties all support the reactionary regime of Putin by standing with ”Mother Russia” against the western capitalist world. The KPRF is more a social democratic party that plays on nostalgia for the USSR while the Communists of Russia are proudly to call themselves Stalinist, totally ignoring the suffering of the Soviet working class under the Red Czar. This is something that unites both the moderate KPRF and the KR. Both use Stalin’s face and claim to follow in his footsteps. If Joseph Stalin had remain rejected by the Russian state as he was between 1956 and 1991, then these ”communists” would not have reused his image for propaganda. But since Vladimir Putin started to idolize the second world war and the leader who led the Soviet-Union at that time, Stalin is back and idolized by all official communist parties. This is only happening in Russia, no other communist party has readopted Stalin face in their propaganda outlets!
Meanwhile the western capitalist world and Russia are locked in a second Cold War. There is a information war happening between the traditional capitalist media of the west and the viewpoints of the Russian sponsored media like RT (Russia Today). Western media does not like the critical questions asked by RT and therefore the organisation is branded as a propaganda network of Russia. While it is true that RT would never critize Putin the way they critize American and western leaders, what they say about the west is not untrue. This is not liked by the media outlets of the west. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, SkyNews and others have denounced RT for spreading ”Russian propaganda” while they are spreading ”western propaganda” for years. Is RT spreading propaganda for Putin? Yes and No, they are not critical about the corruption and abuse of power in the Russian Federation and they are sponsored by the Kremlin. But will Fox News ever expose the corruption of Wall Street and the abuse of power by Donald Trump and his Republican Party? RT is not openly negative about Russia, just as the western media will never be openly negative about the capitalist ways of America and Europe!
Vladimir Putin will become the next president/dictator of Russia. Like Xi Jinping (now president for life in China) and Erdogan, the Russian czar will likely remain leader until his death. Russian workers will continue to suffer as they are the ones most effected by the failing economy. The average income is now around 466 euros (573 dollars) a month. For many this is not enough to meet ends in a society with prices sky rocking. Many Russians cannot live in the newly build houses of the cities, which have grown too expensive for ordinary workers. You spend already 500 euros for basic human needs (house rent excluded). A Four-person family monthly costs around 1500 euros. This would mean that both parents would have to earn at east 750 euros a month, 250 euros above the average income for ordinary workers. Many of the new rich are living in the newly build and renovated apartments. They enjoy the last remaining fruits of Russian capitalism, which is in a decline since 2014. While the few enjoy wealth and privileges, the vast majority is suffering. Russian workers have therefore nothing to lose by doing nothing. They need a workers party on a genuine socialist program to fight not only the Kremlin bureaucracy, but also the pseudo-left-wing represented by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Communists of Russia!