Communist Farm Chief aims to harvest Anti-Putin vote

Tadhg Gaelach

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Pavel Grudinin - Director of the Lenin State Farm



A very interesting article in today's Financial Times, which unfortunately I can't link to.

It seems the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is taking an unusual approach to this year's Presidential election. Instead of running their long time Chairman, Gennady Zyuganov, they are running a candidate who isn't even a member of the Communist Party. But, he is a Communist, and he runs the Lenin State Farm outside of Moscow. During the years of Yeltsin chaos, the workers of the Lenin State Farm bought the farm and turned it into a worker's collective. But this is not a small farm. It's turnover is in excess of 70 million US dollars a year. The proceeds of the farm are used to build housing and schools and kindergartens for the workers and to pay for their health care. Indeed, the workers are paid twice the Russian industrial average wage and have a far higher standard of living than the average Russian worker.

The Communist Party are putting forward the idea that Russians really don't have to put up with Putin because there's no alternative. In fact there is an alternative to the Dictatorship of Corruption - and that is for workers to take their own lives into their own hands.

The Communist Party candidate and Lenin Farm director is Pavel Grudinin. He gives himself the same pay and lives in the same type of apartment as the rest of the workers on the farm. With his mop of grey hair and mustache, people say he makes them nostalgic for the glorious days of Stalin and Soviet Power. However, his opponents accuse him of being a populist who just says what the people want to hear. They also criticise the fact that he is not a career politician and has no experience.

As for myself, I have no doubt that Putin will comfortably win again. And I'm not one of these Western idiots who pray for Putin's demise. He has done great work in putting Russia back on her feet after the years of Yeltsin chaos. He has curtailed the Oligarchs to some extent. And he has saved Syria from becoming another Libyan Holocaust. That said, Putin has serious problems as a leader. He can only go so far as he is really a one man show. His party are a rabble of con men and chancers, and when Putin is gone I'm afraid there will be nobody to replace him. For that reason, I would like to see strong men of the people like Pavel Grudinin come up through the political system and be ready to take power when the time comes.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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By the way, it shows what a great Patriot Gennady Zyuganov is that he would step aside for an unknown who he believes could work wonders for the Russian people.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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You can see from this that Grudinin is very comfortable with the media. The camera likes him.

 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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I see that Communist collectives are setting up in the USA also.

 
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Tadhg Gaelach

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There’s a Russian candidate for president who is wildly popular on YouTube, where he slams the policies of President Vladimir Putin. He has a nationwide political machine and a constituency of millions who are fed up with the current Kremlin occupant and his oligarch friends. Although Putin is overwhelmingly favored to win a new six-year term March 18, this contender has as good a chance as anyone to come in second.

And no, his name is not Alexei Navalny.

It’s Pavel Grudinin, the surprise nominee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, named last month to replace Gennady Zyuganov, the party’s 73-year-old leader and four-time presidential runner-up.




Grudinin at the Communist Party congress that nominated him last month as a candidate for the presidency. (Stringer/REUTERS)


Grudinin, 57, has steered a formerly state-run produce farm outside Moscow into a flourishing business he markets as a showcase for the socialism he says he would bring back to Russia.
Like Navalny, the 41-year-old anti-corruption activist excluded from the ballot by Russia’s election commission last month, Grudinin appeals to Russians tired of Putin after his 18 years in power. In well-watched videos with titles like “Grudinin told it like it is! And the State Duma fell silent,” Grudinin openly ridicules Putin’s reliance on “people everyone knows should’ve been in prison long ago,” and promises to repatriate billions from offshore accounts maintained by Russian elites.


Full article,

This Russian presidential contender has zero chance against Putin. But a man can dream.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

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Twenty kilometers southeast of the Kremlin and Moscow’s financial district, just beyond the highway that encircles Russia’s capital, stands a relic of the Soviet dream.

On a recent frigid afternoon, residents waited in lines in front of stalls selling fruits and vegetables, playgrounds were packed with parents and their children, and a park was full of strolling residents and visitors. “We never want to leave, even on weekends,” says Irina Nikolaeva, 37, out for a walk with her five-year-old son.


While many former collective farms around the country have stood dilapidated and abandoned since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Lenin Sovkhoz has flourished. And in a country stumbling out of the longest recession since President Vladimir Putin first became president in 2000, the farm seems plucked from a communist fantasy.

In addition to the farmland that forms the collective's lifeblood, the Sovkhoz is stocked with impressive infrastructure: modern condos, a comprehensive medical clinic — even a school that promises European-style education. Workers here earn 77,000 rubles per year — twice the national average, its administration boasts.

Behind it all is Pavel Grudinin, a convivial 57-year-old with an impressive gut, salt-and-pepper hair and a characteristic mustache.

After 22 years at the helm of the Lenin Sovkhoz, he has provided Russia’s Communist Party with a showroom of what modern socialism could look like. And with his nomination in December, he has also provided the party a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

Under Grudinin, Russia’s Communist Party Gets a Capitalist Makeover