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To read Russian text, you will need (beside knowledge of Russian language) Cyrillic fonts. It is not a problem on PC's, because in Windows 95 or later these fonts are built into the default installation of the operating system. For Macintosh, obtain the fonts and instructions on their installation here. For UNIX, the instructions are here (or here).

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Politics in Russia

The parties are listed in the commonly accepted in Russia order from "left" (emphasis on importance of the state) to "right" (emphasis on individual freedom), as of before the presidential elections in 2000 (some parties are gone by now).

DISCLAIMER: The comments reflect my opinion only and do NOT reflect the views of Stanford University, Physics Department or anybody else.

KPRF
Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF).Leader: Gennady Zyuganov. They have the construction of Communism as the final goal in their program, but they deny it. They also put an emphasis on collaboration with Russian Orthodox Church, which also is not compatible with the original views of Lenin.

LDPR
Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia. Leader: Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The popularity is based mostly on scandals in which the leader participated, and on his populist statements. As usual in Russian politics (the name has nothing to do with the goal), the activity has nothing to do with liberalism or democracy.

Otechestvo
Leader: Yuri Luzhkov. The name of the party means "Fatherland". This is the party of "power", consisting of former party bosses and burocrats. Recently they formed a coalition with the party of regional governers called "Vsya Rossiya" ("All Russia"). The coalition is headed by the former prime minister Evgeniy Primakov.

Yabloko
Leader: Grigory Yavlinsky. In my opinion, it is the only big party that has stated democracy as their main goal. Moreover, it seems as if Yavlinsky is the only politician in Russia who knows what democracy is, without confusing it with republic, individual freedom, anarchy and ochlocracy. The name of the party literally means "apple" and is derived from the first letters of the founders' last names. As with other parties, the name has nothing to do with the party's goals. "Yabloko" has mostly negative coverage in the Russian mass media, and the leader is not very photogenic, but still their rating is not bad. Some human rights activists sympathize with this party.

Pravoe Delo
Prominent members: Egor Gaidar, Anatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov, Sergey Kirienko, Valeriya Novodvorskaya. The name means "The Right Cause". This is a union of several liberal parties. They state the market economy as their basic goal, even if it will mean no democracy. The leaders of this union are associated in the people's minds with those who failed the economic reforms in Russia, and they are not very popular. Actually, their rating is low, and I listed them only because they have much coverage in Russian media. Recently they reorganized into "Soyuz Pravykh Sil" ("The Union of Right Forces").

Edinstvo
Leader: Sergey Shoigu. Name means "Unity". Alias: "Medved" ("Bear"). Something smells fishy about this party. It appeared just a couple of months ago, and builds its popularity on the war with Chechnya. The leadership consists of military officers. From the things that I see in the news it looks like a fascist party which proclaims itself to be democratic.
There are many other parties, but they have low ratings compared to the listed above.

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