07MOSCOW960, VICTORY” FOR “A JUST RUSSIA”

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW960 2007-03-07 07:42 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7930
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #0960/01 0660742
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070742Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8029
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG PRIORITY 3836
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK PRIORITY 1965
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG PRIORITY 2264

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000960 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PINR SOCI RS
SUBJECT: "VICTORY" FOR "A JUST RUSSIA" 
 
REF: A. 06 MOSCOW 12709 
     B. 06 MOSCOW 12717 
 
MOSCOW 00000960  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (SBU)  Five youth groups have announced their intention 
to establish a coalition called "Victory" which would support 
the newly framed left of center pro-Kremlin party, "For a 
Just Russia" (SR).  "Victory" is positioning itself as a 
competitor to the youth wing of United Russia (YR), the 
dominant pro-Kremlin party.  "Victory's" leaders hope to have 
50,000 members at the time of the group's founding congress 
in April.  However, another SR-affiliated youth group, "For 
the Motherland" is challenging "Victory" for influence with 
SR.  End summary. 
 
----------------- 
Victory Formation 
----------------- 
 
2.  (U) The leaders of Energy of Life (EL), Young Life (YL), 
the youth branch of the People's Party (YPP), the youth 
branch of the Social-Democratic Party of Russia (YSDPR) and 
the human rights civil society organization "Citizen Society" 
(CS) on February 21 formed "Victory: All Russia Youth 
Movement for Freedom and Social Justice" youth coalition and 
pledged their support to the new Kremlin-sponsored party "For 
a Just Russia" (SR).  A representative from the "Young 
Motherland" youth group attended the press conference and 
announced his group's intention to participate in coalition 
activities. 
 
3.  (U) All five groups have strong ties to the parties with 
which they are affiliated and/or enjoy close ties to other 
important institutions and individuals.  The leader of YPP, 
Dmitriy Gudkov, is the son of Duma Deputy Gennadiy Gudkov. 
The leader of CS, Anatoliy Nazarov, is a member of Russia's 
Youth Community Chamber and a member of the Council of 
Academics of Moscow State University.  The leader of the St. 
Petersburg-based YL, Olga Litvinyenko, is the daughter of the 
Rector of St. Petersburg's Mining Institute.  Other 
personalities whose names have been mentioned in tandem with 
the "Victory" coalition include the Vice President of 
Russia's Thai Boxing Association Aleksandr Kunshin, four-time 
Russia's "Strongest Man" Elbrus Nigmatullin and reigning Miss 
Universe and EL co-chairperson Oksana Fedorova. 
 
4.  (SBU) EL Chairman Yuriy Lopusov told us that the 
"Victory" founding congress would take place in April. 
Lopusov expected the coalition would have over fifty thousand 
members and would be governed by co-chairpersons representing 
the constituent groups.  He said that the large number of 
members could have allowed "Victory" to register itself as an 
independent party.  However, the leaders of the five groups 
decided that their goals and objectives, and those of 
Russia's youth, would be better served by forming an 
independent coalition that could take concrete action on 
social issues while supporting SR.  In a view echoed by the 
other leaders, YPP's Gudkov insisted that "Victory" would act 
independently of SR. 
 
5.  (SBU) A major obstacle "Victory" faces is a lack of 
funds.  "Victory" leaders told us they had to personally 
finance a number of their activities.  They also received 
support from the parties they were affiliated with as well as 
from other organizations and individuals.  They had received 
no money from the GOR, they said. 
 
-------------------- 
United Russia Rivals 
-------------------- 
 
6.  (SBU) "Victory" seeks to position itself as an 
alternative to YR's "Young Guards."  Gudkov promised that the 
coalition would fight against the "populism" that YR-linked 
youth organizations had fostered.  YL's Litvinyenko said that 
one of "Victory's" missions was to teach young people what 
justice, freedom, and patriotism mean in practice.  In a 
press release, "Victory" described its main goal as involving 
the maximum number of youth in constructive political 
activities that address the chief challenges facing Russian 
society. 
 
--------------------------- 
For the Motherland's Agenda 
--------------------------- 
 
MOSCOW 00000960  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
7.  (SBU) Representatives of the best-known SR-affiliated 
youth movement, "For the Motherland (FM)," did not attend the 
press conference.  In a mid-February meeting, FM leader 
Sergey Shargunov told us he had no desire to merge his 
organization with the other youth groups supporting SR. 
Shargunov contemptuously described "Victory's" focus on 
social-welfare programs as a program to "help invalids." 
Political movements should focus on action.  Social projects 
alone were not sufficient.  Shargunov hoped that "FM" would 
become the locus for SR's more political youth supporters. 
Shargunov reported that Mironov supports FM's proposed course 
of action. 
 
----------- 
Duma Dreams 
----
------- 
 
8.  (SBU) Shargunov and leaders of "Victory" make no secret 
of their political aspirations.  Shargunov was quite critical 
of developments in Russia since Putin had become President, 
especially regarding freedom and social justice.  When asked 
if they had political aspirations, the leaders of "Victory, 
all nodded their heads in the affirmative.   Lopusov said 
that, unlike YR, SR's Duma list would not feature a "youth" 
quota.  However, Mironov had promised to include youth 
representatives, drawn from all of the participating youth 
groups, among SR's Duma candidates. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
9.  (SBU)  Combining five separate movements may create the 
same complications for "Victory" as those encountered by SR 
at the time of its announced merger.  At present, "Victory" 
leaders appear to carry little weight within SR.  One 
inauspicious sign:  at the February 26 SR Congress Plenary, 
"Victory" attendees were little more than cheerleaders to the 
pronouncements of SR heavyweights like Mironov.  In contrast 
"For the Motherland" (FM) has been more successful in 
organizing political demonstrations.  The stage appears set 
for a competition between FM and "Victory" for the mantle of 
lead youth group within SR. 
BURNS

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