Russia: Friends Among Themselves

KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov meets President Putin to confirm his role as a loyal servant of Russian imperialism

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 15 February 2023,


Two days ago, Gennady Zyuganov – leader of Russia’s largest “Communist” Party – met President Putin. It was a very amicable meeting which demonstrated again how close Russia’s official “communists” and the bonapartist regime of Putin are. In fact, the far-reaching agreements between the two reveals that, effectively, they are political friends united in the service of the imperialist “Ruskij Mir”.

According to the official transcript, published by the Kremlin, the Russian President praised the KPRF for their longstanding record as a “patriotic” party. [1]I hope as a force representing a significant part of the country’s patriotic movement, the Communist Party will remain such going forward. The party makes a substantial contribution to the political discussion and the quest for the best solutions to move the country forward in the social sphere, the economy, defence and security – we have never had any differences on that level, I think. On the contrary, the Communist Party was often one step ahead and raised national security issues of today and tomorrow with authorities at all levels. Without a doubt, our dialogue is now doubly or even triply important. I am pleased to see you.”

Zyuganov could not but give back the compliments: “It should be said that you have always been receptive to our requests, proposals, and legislative initiatives. In this regard, we value our dialogue, especially now that, in fact, a crusade and a new war have been declared on our civilisation and the entire Russian world. (…) What matters most now is the “party of Russia,” its sovereignty, independence and our common freedom. The entire left-wing patriotic bloc that I head – 56 organisations in all – is standing behind it strongly as one.

At the end of their meeting Zyuganov states once more his unconditional support for Putin’s imperialist war against the Ukrainian people (which the KPRF leader denounces as “Nazis”). “I believe the fight against Nazis today has taken on a fateful significance. (…) But, I hope, we must win – and we will win.” To which Putin enthusiastically replies: “That is the way it is going to be. Thank you.

No doubt, here were two political friends among themselves! As we did show in several documents, the Stalinist KPRF has always been a social-patriotic party which supported Putin’s war against the Chechen people in 1999-2008, his military intervention in the Ukraine in 2014 and in Syria 2015 as well as in Kazakhstan in January 2022. [2] It is therefor only logical that Zyuganov has been a fervent supporter of Putin’s invasion in the Ukraine since the very beginning. [3]

In other words, the KPRF is an example par excellence of a social-imperialist party. It combines practical support for its imperialist “fatherland” with “communist” phraseology. [4] As such, it is of course no exception. Other Stalinist parties also serve their ruling class with no less zeal. Just take the Japanese JCP, the Spanish PCE (currently a member of the government coalition, i.e. a ruling party in a NATO state) or the French PCF (which was part of previous governments led by Jospin and Holland) – to name a few examples.

Zyuganov’s party is an important party in the international Stalinist milieu. In terms of strength at parliamentary elections, it is the strongest “communist” party in a Great Power country (if we leave aside China’s CCP which dictatorially rules the country since nearly three-quarter of a century). Only a few months ago, the KPRF was a key signatory of a statement adopted in the course of the 22nd “International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in in Havana – the most important annual conference of the global Stalinist movement. [5]

Shamefully, there are still “Trotskyists” in Russia which are eager to collaborate with Putin’s house “communists”. Last autumn both the RRP [6] as well as the Russian section of Alan Woods’s IMT stood candidates on the KPRF’s list at the regional elections. [7] It is a slavishly chain of political dependency: the KPRF is a servant of the Putin regime and such pseudo-“Trotskyists” are servants of the KPRF. What belongs together grows together!

Authentic socialists don’t collaborate with such advocates of Ruskij Mir” social-chauvinism but fight against them as political enemies! The RCIT and its section Russia – “Socialist Tendency” – calls all revolutionaries to join us on the basis of a consistent internationalist and anti-imperialist program against Putin’s war against the Ukrainian people. [8] After one year of barbarous war, our slogan remains completely valid: Defend the Ukraine against Putin’s invasion! Against Russian and against NATO imperialism!

[1] Meeting with Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov,, 13 February 2023, All quotes are from this report if not indicated otherwise.

[2] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Popular Uprising in Kazakhstan and Putin’s Patriotic “Communists”. The Stalinist KPRF of Gennady Zyuganov supports the bloody crackdown of the protests and the imperialist intervention of Russian troops,

[3] The RCIT has published a number of polemics against the KPRF’s social-chauvinist policy in the Ukraine War; see e.g. the pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: Putin’s Poodles (Apologies to All Dogs). The pro-Russian Stalinist parties and their arguments in the current NATO-Russia Conflict, 9 February 2022,; by the same author: Russia: Zyuganov Calls for “General Mobilisation” to defeat the Ukraine. The “communist” KPRF leader joins the long-standing demand of the hard-core sector of the Great Russian chauvinist camp a la Igor Strelkov, 13 September 2022,; “Socialism” a la Putin and Zyuganov. On a telling dialogue between the Stalinist party leader and the Russian President, 13 July 2022,

[4] The RCIT has published numerous documents about capitalism in Russia and its rise to an imperialist power. The most important ones are several pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: The Peculiar Features of Russian Imperialism. A Study of Russia’s Monopolies, Capital Export and Super-Exploitation in the Light of Marxist Theory, 10 August 2021,; by the same author: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014,; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014 (this pamphlet contains a document written in 2001 in which we established for the first time our characterisation of Russia as imperialist),; see also these essays by the same author: Russia: An Imperialist Power or a “Non-Hegemonic Empire in Gestation”? A reply to the Argentinean economist Claudio Katz, in: New Politics, 11 August 2022, at; Russian Imperialism and Its Monopolies, in: New Politics Vol. XVIII No. 4, Whole Number 72, Winter 2022,; Once Again on Russian Imperialism (Reply to Critics). A rebuttal of a theory which claims that Russia is not an imperialist state but would be rather “comparable to Brazil and Iran”, 30 March 2022, See various other RCIT documents on this issue at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website:

[5] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Great Power Rivalry: Deepening of Differences between Stalinist Parties. Notes on the XXII International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Havana (and the so-called “Paris Declaration”), 10 November 2022,

[6] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Against Russia’s War without Internationalism and Anti-Imperialism? A revealing statement of the RRP (Russia) about Putin’s “partial mobilisation”, 8 October 2022,; by the same author: Russia: A Disguised Support for Imperialist Armament. The RRP (Russia) deepens its opportunist adaptation to the social-chauvinist KPRF, 9 November 2022,

[7] For our latest critique of the IMT’s policy during the Ukraine War see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Spare the Dummy … and Trotsky! Reply to a not very intelligent polemic of Alan Woods’ IMT on the slogan of “Arms for the Ukraine”, 11 November 2022,

[8] We refer readers to a special page on our website where more than 150 RCIT documents on the Ukraine War and the current NATO-Russia conflict are compiled: In particular we refer to two Manifestos of the RCIT: Ukraine War: A Turning Point of World Historic Significance. Socialists must combine the revolutionary defense of the Ukraine against Putin’s invasion with the internationalist struggle against Russian as well as NATO and EU imperialism, 1 March 2022,; Manifesto on the First Anniversary of the Ukraine War. Victory to the heroic Ukrainian people! Defeat Russian imperialism! No support whatsoever for NATO imperialism! 10 February 2023,