Demokraticheskaia Rossiia (Political party)

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Historical Note

The Demokraticheskaia Rossiia (DR) movement was founded in October 1990, at the end of the Soviet epoch, when opposition to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), the only party at the time, emerged. It united the anti-communist opposition parties in the USSR: the Sotsial-demokraticheskaia partiia Rossiiskoi Federatsii, Respublikanskaia partiia Rossiiskoi Federatsii, Partiia konstitutsionnykh democratov, Svobodno-demokraticheskaia partiia Rossii, Rossiiskoe khristianskoe demokraticheskoe dvizhenie, Konstitutsionno-demokraticheskaia partiia, Partiia narodnoi svobody, Partiia svobodnogo truda, and other organizations. In January 1991 Demokraticheskaia partiia Rossii also joined the movement.

The participants supported the RSFSR president Boris Yeltsin in his struggle against the CPSU leadership and the CPSU General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.

In June 1991 the Russian Republic held its first presidential election, and Boris Yeltsin gained a decisive victory. He was elected president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic with 57% of the vote, becoming the first popularly elected president.

Yeltsin offered to cooperate with the Baltic republics, which were seeking freedom from the USSR. This contributed to Gorbachev's decision to start negotiations with 15 Soviet republics on enhancing their self government. A draft treaty was scheduled for signing at the end of August 1991. However, on August 19, 1991, eight conservative party and governmental leaders attempted to take control of the country from Gorbachev, while he was on vacation. Yeltsin headed the dramatic opposition to the coup and secured Gorbachev's return to Moscow.

After the coup Boris Yeltsin consolidated his own power and led the movement to dissolve the Soviet parliament and outlaw the Communist Party. In the fall of 1991 Yeltsin and other leaders of Soviet republics declared independence for their respective republics. Yeltsin became the head of the post-Soviet Russian Federation.

The DR movement was one of the most consistent pro-Yeltsin organizations in 1992-1993, although the movement's meetings in support of Yeltsin attracted fewer and fewer participants because of the failure of his ambitious economic reforms known as "shock therapy," which caused inflation and currency devaluation without increasing industrial and agricultural production.

At that time two groups struggled within the DR movement, one favoring a coalition of parties and organizations, and the other in favor of a single organization. As a result, at the end of 1994 many organizations resigned their membership.

Given the absence of a comprehensive program, other than opposition to the CPSU and support of Yeltsin, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the subsequent dissolution of the CPSU, the split in the DR became unavoidable.

As a result, Demokraticheskii Vybor, a hybrid of social movements and governmental organizations, was created. The remaining segments of the Democraticheskaia Rossiia movement either disappeared from the public scene or became part of the democratic opposition party Yabloko.

From the guide to the Demokraticheskaia Rossiia records, 1989-1993, 1989-1993, (Hoover Institution Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Demokraticheskaia Rossiia records, 1989-1993, 1989-1993 Hoover Institution Archives
creatorOf Shakhraĭ, S. M. [Russian political party platforms]. Princeton University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Yeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich, 1931-2007 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Russia (Federation)
Soviet Union

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