Russian presidential candidates celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day

Russian presidential candidates celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day


Unlike Vladimir Putin, who on February 23 participated in traditional festive events only as head of state, other participants in the presidential race willingly combined celebrations with campaigning. Nominees of the LDPR and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day with rallies in Moscow, at which they talked about their programs and election plans; the candidate from “New People” limited himself to laying flowers at the war memorial in Rzhev.

Vladimir Putin’s public schedule on February 23 included only work events. He traditionally laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall and congratulated “veterans, personnel, civilian personnel of the armed forces and everyone who served in the military” on the holiday. The president said nothing about the upcoming elections in March.

The LDPR celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day on a political scale. By noon on February 23, party members gathered three hundred activists near their capital branch, where a festive rally unfolded with patriotic songs, a field kitchen and policy statements. The key, of course, was the speech of party chairman and presidential candidate Leonid Slutsky. “Defender of the Fatherland Day is the main holiday during the SVO: a holiday that consolidates the country,” he emphasized the relevance of the event in a conversation with journalists. Mr. Slutsky habitually reminded the party members of the imminent collapse of American hegemony, the consolidation of all political forces “at the call of the LDPR” and the key point of his program – the need for an early victory in the Northern Military District. “I’m happy to see all of you,” the LDPR leader told the activists. “You help me a lot as a presidential candidate, as the leader of the party. More than ever, shoulder to shoulder, remaining faithful to Zhirinovsky’s behests, we managed to build the most consolidated, reliable and creative political force in the country.”

There, the Liberal Democrats presented party cards to new comrades-in-arms, among whom were members of the SVO. “I decided to join the LDPR because this party is together with the people, for the people, for our victory,” explained one of them. “The LDPR stands for the speedy end of the special operation, but what is much more important for me is the thesis that The SVO must not only end, but end entirely on our terms, without any concessions.”

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which gathered supporters near the monument to Karl Marx in the center of Moscow, also emphasized its involvement in the Northern Military District, during which the Russian soldier not only “defends the Russian world”, but also resists the destructive Anglo-Saxon capitalism. “This time we are celebrating our glorious holiday in the conditions of a brutal war against the Russian world, when the question is stark: either socialism, or fascism and barbarism,” Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Central Committee, told the audience. He also emphasized the involvement of the communists in the establishment of the holiday (as “Red Army Day”), the contribution of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation to the “defense of the Russian world in Donbass” and recalled the internal threat from the “fifth column”. “But this barking of dogs no longer bothers us: our iron battalion of the proletariat is confidently moving forward and will definitely win,” the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation promised. “We are going to the elections not only by rising to our full height. We are coming with a real program, a strong team and a unique winning experience.” This program, added Communist Party presidential candidate Nikolai Kharitonov, “was written by all the people—the party organizations of the regions.” “It’s clear, clear and understandable: “We’ve played capitalism and that’s enough!” – he recalled his main slogan. “Our task is to convey it to the population, change the situation without shocks, without revolutions and take a big step into socialism.” Later, talking with the media, Mr. Kharitonov expressed confidence that “the hearts and souls of people” are drawn to “the society where power was created” – that is, to the socialist one: “When our fathers and great-grandfathers fought for a just cause, there were always victories, and when our people were dragged into capitalism, we feel our weakness.” After listening to the rest of the speakers, the communists adopted the traditional anti-oligarchic resolution aimed at defeating the enemy, and proceeded to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where they laid wreaths and bouquets.

The candidate from the “New People” Vladislav Davankov celebrated the holiday in Rzhev, laying a bouquet at the memorial to the Soviet Soldier. “My father, in the military town, celebrated this holiday every year on February 23 and remembered all those who had gone before,” Mr. Davankov told reporters. “Of course, there was always a toast ‘if only there was no war’.” And in a thematic post on Telegram, the politician wished readers “a peaceful sky above their heads as soon as possible.”

Grigory Leiba


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