Recently we witnessed another instance of the authorities settling accounts with an undesirable politician who “dared” to challenge them. The man in questions is Pavel Grudinin who ran for President in the 2018 elections as a non-party candidate of the CPRF and became the runner-up winning millions of votes.
Pavel Grudinin is the director of the Lenin Collective Farm, the last “people’s” agricultural enterprise located near Moscow. All the other farms were destroyed and their land was divided up into lots and sold to oligarchs for building their cottages.
In 1995, having survived the collapse of the USSR, the 1990s privatization, the sway of democracy and raids to seize enterprises, the work collective of the farm which has existed for more than 100 years decides to register it as a closed joint-stock company.
Pavel Grudinin became the head of the company which, thanks to competent management and the socialist methods of running the farm became a successful, socially oriented and financially independent entity all of whose revenues were used to raise the workers’ wages, subsidize the pensions of veteran workers, modernize production and improve the living conditions of the farm’s inhabitants.
Today it employs about 300 workers, almost all of them living with their families. There are schools and kindergartens where children get free education. The rent is affordable, with sizeable discounts for families with children. The inhabitants describe their collective farm as a “territory of social optimism.”
Perhaps it is because of its positive development, being in fact “an island of socialism” amid a sea of capitalist lawlessness that the collective farm has recently encountered a host of problems.
First, after Pavel Grudinin was nominated as a candidate for President of the RF he has seen his popularity constantly growing as a politician and skillful manager, which the authorities do not like at all.
Second, the farm is just outside Moscow and its land could make an excellent place for building cottages. Attempts to seize collective farm lands have dramatically intensified. Every “dirty trick in the book” is being used. The collective farm, supported by the CPRF, is beating off these attacks. Several plaintiffs who have allegedly been harmed by Grudinin’s activities, have sued Grudinin, and the Prosecutor’s Office of the city of Vidnoye which has jurisdiction over the Lenin Collective Farm acted as it has been told and accused Grudinin of financial irregularities, an accusation which, in the opinion of the CPRF and independent experts, is totally ungrounded.
The tacit agreement of the authorities to the travesty of justice paves the way for “raiders” to take over the farm, liquidate it and use the farm land to build properties. What will happen to the hundreds of works and their families does not interest anyone.
By deliberately greenlighting the raiders, the authorities are not just settling accounts with the man who “had the gall” to challenge them, but at the same time are destroying the last oasis of socialism in the Moscow region, which, against the background of miserly wages, disarray and desolation reigning at the enterprises of “capitalist labour” presents them in a very unseemly light.
In the wake of the court’s “just” ruling numerous protest actions against the destruction of the Lenin Collective Farm took place in many cities across Russia.
Not only Communists, but ordinary citizens call for an end to political abuses disguised as a court ruling on Pavel Grudinin.
A statement issued by the CC CPRF reads in part: “These arbitrary acts undermine the unity of society, threaten its economic and social development,… threaten stability in the country. The CPRF resolutely condemns rampant lawlessness and judicial reprisals…”
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation calls on all those who cherish the ideas of justice to support Pavel Grudinin in his struggle against court abuses and to prevent the destruction of an enterprise which is the showcase for all the advantages of the principle of running the economy in the socialist way.
International Department of the CPRF CC