Liberalism in Russia

This article is about liberal parties. For the Russian nationalist party, see LDPR (political party).

This article gives an overview of liberalism in Russia. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, namely those that have had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in the scheme. The listed parties didn't necessarily label themselves as liberal.

Russian liberals advocate the expansion of political and civil freedoms and mostly opposite to Vladimir Putin. In Russia, the term "liberal" can refer to wide range of politicians – simultaneously to Thatcherism/Reaganomics-related pro-capitalism conservative politicians (they are related to 1990s shock therapy "liberal" reforms), to centre-right liberal politicians (as in European political spectrum) and to left-liberal politicians (as in the US political spectrum). The term "liberal democrats" is often used for members of nationalist far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. There are opposition (Russian opposition) and pro-government (pro-Putin) liberal politicians in Russia. Pro-government liberal politicians support Putin's liberal policy in economics.

There is no liberal factions in Russian parliament at the moment. Centre-left liberalism was represented in the State Duma of Russian parliament by the political party Yabloko (7.86% in 1993 election, 6.89% in 1995, 5.93% in 1999). Pro-government liberalism was represented by the Our Home – Russia (10.13% in 1995 election), the liberal political party founded by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Centre-right liberalism was represented by the pro-capitalist party Democratic Choice of Russia (15.51% in 1993) and its successor, the Union of Right Forces (8.52% in 1999 election).

The Russian United Democratic Party "Yabloko" and the Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party are members of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party.[1] The Yabloko is also a member of Liberal International.

Liberalism in the Russian Federation


After the fall of communism, several new liberal parties were formed, but only one of them Yabloko (Yabloko – Rosiyskaya Demokraticheskaya Partiya, a member of Liberal International) succeeded in becoming a relevant force. This is a left-of-center liberal party. The Union of Right Forces (Soyuz Pravykh Sil, a member of International Democrat Union) is a right-of-center liberal party. It can also be seen as a democratic conservative market party. In this scheme, the party is not included as liberal, being considered a democratic conservative party, but it can also be called liberal because of its pro-free-market and anti-authoritarianism stances. The so-called Liberal Democratic Party of Russia is not at all "liberal" – it is a nationalist, right-wing, populist party.

Yabloko (1993–)

Main article: Yabloko

The Yabloko is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party and Liberal International.

Pro-Chernomyrdin and regional party (1995–2000)

Main article: Our Home – Russia

Democratic Choice of Russia (1993–1999)

See also: Yegor Gaidar

The Democratic Choice of Russia was a centre-right liberal pro-capitalist political party.

Union of Right Forces (1999–2008)

Main article: Union of Right Forces

The Union of Right Forces was a Russian centre-right liberal opposition political party.

Pro-Vladimir Putin liberal projects

Solidarnost wide movement (2008–)

Main article: Solidarnost

Solidarnost is a liberal democratic political movement founded in 2008 by a number of well-known members of the liberal democratic opposition, including Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov and others from the Yabloko and former Union of Right Forces (which had just merged with two pro-Kremlin parties).

Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party (de facto 2010–)

People's Freedom Party "For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption" is a liberal democratic coalition founded in 2010 by opposition politicians Vladimir Ryzhkov, Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov and Vladimir Milov and their organisations Republican Party of Russia, Solidarnost, Russian People's Democratic Union and Democratic Choice. The RPR-PARNAS is a member of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party.[2]

In 2012, the coalition merged into the officially registered Russian political party RPR-PARNAS (Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party).

The RPR-PARNAS is a centre-right liberal opposition political party and it represented in regional parliament in Yaroslavl Oblast.

Mikhail Prokhorov's party

Russian Empire


Mikhail Speransky is sometimes called the father of Russian liberalism. His ideas were discussed and elaborated by such 19th-century liberal republican radicals as Alexander Herzen, Boris Chicherin, and Konstantin Kavelin. Based on their ideals, various early 20th-century liberal parties evolved, the most important of them being the Constitutional-democratic Party, headed by Pavel Milyukov.

From Liberation Union to Constitutional Democratic Party

Union of October 17

Moderate Progressive Party

Party of Democratic Reform

From Party of Peaceful Renovation to Progressist Party

List of various liberal leaders

See also


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