From the Morning Star, www.morningstaronline.co.uk, Jan. 30, 2018


            Russia’s Communist Party has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating a “media vacuum” around their presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin ahead of March elections.

            The Russian mass media had previously “organised mass information attacks” on Grudinin, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) said, but the tactic changed after the government realised this was merely raising his public profile.

            A source close to the government told the party that Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin had rebuked broadcast chiefs, saying: “What are you doing? Anti-advertising is also advertising.”

            Since then, media exposure of President Vladimir Putin’s rivals has plummeted, with analysis of a week’s TV shows published by the KPRF showing the president was mentioned in 759 stories, compared to just 103 for Grudinin. Between January 14 and 19, Grudinin was mentioned 35 times on federal TV, the party added, with 23 of these mentions being negative and just two positive.

            The communist candidate is in second place according to opinion polls in Russia, but trails way behind Putin, who has polled at over 50 per cent in most surveys.

            But KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov says the Putin regime has failed to address “mass impoverishment and a decrease in purchasing power.

            “For the fourth year in a row, citizens’ incomes have fallen. The flight of capital is increasing. Over the next three years spending on economic and social development is planned to shrink by 17 per cent.”

            And Putin was lording over a society “afflicted with the plagues of total bribery and nepotism,” Zyuganov declared.

            “It is impossible to cope with the crisis and defeat corruption without changing the social and economic system,” the communist leader announced, outlining a 19-point programme to be implemented if Grudinin wins, including renationalisation of key sectors of the economy, restoring free medical check-ups, extending pre-school learning and care, rebuilding Russian industry, an eight-hour day, price controls on food and a guaranteed first job for university graduates.


(The above article is from the February 15-28, 2018, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)