Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russian Architects – First Group To Publicly Abstain From Joining Putin’s Front

Posted by Info on 29/06/2011

As Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s All-Russia People’s Front continues to build up its membership with various organizations, the Union of Russian Architects has become the first group to publicly abstain from joining the front.

The architects union, which was initially enlisted in the front seemingly without its consent, has opened a small window into the chaotic development of the People’s Front.
Critics are calling Putin’s initiative to task for its increasing ties with government agencies, the strengthening of a Soviet-esque single party apparatus and a growing sense that the project is a “farce.”

The decision to abstain from joining the Popular Front was taken after the group unexpectedly found its name on the online list of the Popular Front’s members. The architects, who noticed that their union had been put on the list without their consent, published an open letter asking the union’s leaders to abstain from joining the front.

With around 400,000 members and massive resources, the Post Office’s political utility for the Popular Front is clear: the ability to distribute flyers and other campaign literature through a country-wide network … The possible misuse of government resources to promote political interests has already raised criticism, most notably from reputed whistleblower Alexei Navalny.

The example of the architects union may inspire other groups to reject the “call to the front.” It seems that United Russia may be in for disappointment in the coming elections.

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