Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 143

Churchill likened the study of Russian politics to watching dogs fighting under a blanket: you knew who was winning only when a dead body was tossed out. The evidence of a split in the far left was clear yesterday, when Viktor Anpilov was sacked as leader of the Moscow committee of the hard-line Russian Communist and Workers’ Party (RKRP). Anpilov was ousted from his post and the entire Moscow organization was disbanded at a closed-door plenum of the RKRP. The reasons given for Anpilov’s ouster were the poor organization of the Moscow committee and Anpilov’s "immodest" behavior during the presidential campaign. (Originally, Anpilov wanted to run for president himself; later, he declared in favor of Zyuganov without consulting the RKRP Central Committee.) He remains leader of "Working Russia," which surprised everyone when it broke through the five percent barrier in last December’s parliamentary elections.

Anpilov acknowledged yesterday that his support for Zyuganov provoked the schism and complained that his comrades had not appreciated his "refusal to abandon the struggle for the unity of Soviet Communists." He vowed to continue the struggle for "unity and for a Marxist-Leninist party that fights for workers’ power, just not just the glory of its leaders." (NTV, July 22)

RKRP leader Viktor Tyulkin denied that Anpilov was the victim of party intrigue. Addressing the plenum, Tyulkin strongly criticized Zyuganov’s Russian Communist party, saying it had made an "unforgivable error" in renouncing radical positions. Tyulkin said the RKRP would join the popular-patriotic block that is to be established on August 7 by Zyuganov and his nationalist allies only if it adopts a socialist-oriented platform. (Interfax, July 22) Otherwise, the RKRP will form its own bloc with other radical organizations, Tyulkin said. Anpilov did not indicate which bloc Working Russia would join.

Kremlin and Opposition Plan Institutional Links with "Near Abroad" Russians.