There are elections soon in Russia, and the streets of Kaliningrad are invaded by election posters. Unfortunately, they don’t really depict a warm and welcoming image of Mother Russia…
Единая Россия (United Russia), Putin’s party, is omnipresent of course. Putin welcomes you with reassuring quotes on big billboards, the party reminds you of how Medvedev is loved by the Russians.
Родина (Homeland), the far-right party also called National-Patriotic Union, is omnipresent as well via guerrilla. Personally I feel very distressed by the presence of this racist party everywhere on the streets.
There is also a strong presence of the ЛДПР (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), a party which is neither liberal nor democratic, and rather another far-right species that promotes an imperialist vision of the Great Russia. They distinguish themselves by their posters which carry no message at all but their logo. Well, at least, that spares us from hearing another stupid point of view.
At this point, after walking several hours around Kaliningrad, I was not feeling overly comfortable; how could everything be so overtly nationalistic in this pocket of Russia separated from the mainland by the European Union?
Seeing the odd poster of Патриоты России (Patriots of Russia), the far-left party that mixes communism and nationalism, did not reassure me much.
Finally, later in the day, I came across a poster from Справедлибая Россиа (Fair Russia), a left-wing party with links to the Socialist and Social-Democrat groups of the European Parliament. Not a small party, but such a small share of voice in the streets of Kaliningrad.
As a French, I often complain about the lack of decent candidates and parties to vote for and the complete disappearance of the left wing. I guess we are not the only one facing that situation…