Congresses and Docs

Memorandum of Political Alternative, an updated version of 1.03.2019

Memorandum of Political Alternative

YABLOKO's Ten Key Programme Issues


YABLOKO's Political Platform Adopted by the 15th Congress, June 21, 2008

The 18th Congress of YABLOKO

RUSSIA DEMANDS CHANGES! Electoral Program for 2011 Parliamentary Elections.

Key resolutions by the Congress:

On Stalinism and Bolshevism
Resolution. December 21, 2009

On Anti-Ecological Policies of Russia’s Authorities. Resolution of the 15th congress of the YABLOKO party No 253, December 24, 2009

On the Situation in the Northern Caucasus. Resolution of the 15th congress of the YABLOKO party No 252, December 24, 2009


YABLOKO’s Political Committee: Russian state acts like an irresponsible business corporation conducting anti-environmental policies


Overcoming bolshevism and stalinism as a key factor for Russia¦µ™s transformation in the 21st century


On Russia's Foreign Policies. Political Committee of hte YABLOKO party. Statement, June 26, 2009


On Iran’s Nuclear Problem Resolution by the Political Committee of the YABLOKO party. October 6, 2009


Anti-Crisis Proposals (Housing-Roads-Land) of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO. Handed to President Medvedev by Sergei Mitrokhin on June 11, 2009

Brief Outline of Sergei Mitrokhin’s Report at the State Council meeting. January 22, 2010


Assessment of Russia’s Present Political System and the Principles of Its Development. Brief note for the State Council meeting (January 22, 2010) by Dr.Grigory Yavlinsky, member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee. January 22, 2010


Address of the YABLOKO party to President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. Political Committee of the YABLOKO party. October 9, 2009


The 17th Congress of YABLOKO




The 16th Congress of Yabloko

Photo by Sergei Loktionov

The 12th congress of Yabloko

The 11th congress of Yabloko

The 10th congress of Yabloko

Moscow Yabloko
Yabloko for Students
St. Petersburg Yabloko
Khabarovsk Yabloko
Irkutsk Yabloko
Kaliningrad Yabloko(eng)
Novosibirsk Yabloko
Rostov Yabloko
Yekaterinburg Yabloko
(Sverdlovsk Region)

Krasnoyarsk Yabloko
Ulyanovsk Yabloko
Tomsk Yabloko
Tver Yabloko(eng)
Penza Yabloko
Stavropol Yabloko

Action of Support





Programme by candidate for the post of Russian President Grigory Yavlinsky. Brief Overview

My Truth

Grigory Yavlinsky at Forum 2000, Prague, 2014

YABLOKO-ALDE conference 2014

Grigory Yavlinsky : “If you show the white feather, you will get fascism”

Grigory Yavlinsky: a coup is started by idealists and controlled by rascals

The Road to Good Governance

Risks of Transitions. The Russian Experience

Grigory Yavlinsky on the Russian coup of August 1991

A Male’s Face of Russia’s Politics

Black Sea Palaces of the New Russian Nomenklatura


The Hidden Cause of the Great Recession (And How to Avert the Nest One)

by Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky

On the results of the Conference “Migration: International Experience and Russia’s Problems” conducted by the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (the ALDE party)

Moscow, April 6, 2013

International Conference "Youth under Threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A Liberal Response"
conducted jointly by ELDR and YABLOKO. Moscow, April 21, 2012. Speeches, videos, presentations

What does the opposition want: to win or die heroically?
Moskovsky Komsomolets web-site, July 11, 2012. Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Yulia Kalinina.

Building a Liberal Europe - the ALDE Project

By Sir Graham Watson

Lies and legitimacy
The founder of the Yabloko Party analyses the political situation. Article by Grigory Yavlinsky on radio Svoboda. April 6, 2011

Algorithms for Opposing Gender Discrimination: the International and the Russian Experience

YABLOKO and ELDR joint conference

Moscow, March 12, 2011

Reform or Revolution

by Vladimir Kara-Murza

Is Modernisation in Russia Possible? Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky and Boris Titov by Yury Pronko, "The Real Time" programme, Radio Finam, May 12, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky's interview to Vladimir Pozner. The First Channel, programme "Pozner", April 20, 2010 (video and transcript)

Overcoming the Totalitarian Past: Foreign Experience and Russian Problems by Galina Mikhaleva. Research Centre for the East European Studies, Bremen, February 2010.

Grigory Yavlinsky: Vote for the people you know, people you can turn for help. Grigory Yavlinsky’s interview to the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, October 8, 2009

Grigory Yavlinsky: no discords in the tandem. Grigory Yavlinsky’s interview to the Radio Liberty
September 22, 2009

A Credit for Half a Century. Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Natalia Bekhtereva, Radio Russia, June 15, 2009

Sergei Mitrokhin's Speech at the meeting with US Preseident Barack Obama. Key Notes, Moscow, July 7, 2009

Mitrokhin proposed a visa-free regime between Russia and EU at the European liberal leaders meeting
June 18, 2009

by Grigory Yavlinsky

European Union chooses Grigory Yavlinsky!
Your vote counts!

Reforms that corrupted Russia
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Financial Times (UK), September 3, 2003

Grigory Yavlinsky: "It is impossible to create a real opposition in Russia today."
Moskovsky Komsomolets, September 2, 2003

Alexei Arbatov: What Should We Do About Chechnya?
Interview with Alexei Arbatov by Mikhail Falaleev
Komsomolskaya Pravda, November 9, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky: Our State Does Not Need People
Novaya Gazeta,
No. 54, July 29, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky: The Door to Europe is in Washington
Obschaya Gazeta, May 16, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky's speech.
March 11, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky's Lecture at the Nobel Institute
Oslo, May 30, 2000



Yabloko: Liberals in Russia

By Alexander Shishlov, July 6, 2009

Position on Some Important Strategic Issues of Russian-American Relations

Moscow, July 7, 2009

The Embrace of Stalinism

By Arseny Roginsky, 16 December 2008

Nuclear Umbrellas and the Need for Understanding: IC Interview With Ambassador Lukin
September 25, 1997

Would the West’s Billions Pay Off?
Los Angeles Times
By Grigory Yavlinsky and Graham Allison
June 3, 1991

“God help us to avoid a return to an unrestricted nuclear arms race”

Academician Alexei Arbatov on the risks of nuclear war and relations between Russia and the United States

Kommersant, 09.02.2023

Photo: Acad. Alexei Arbatov / Photo by the Yabloko Press Service

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned of “the real danger of a direct military clash between the two nuclear powers” – Russia and the United States. Moscow believes that “a total hybrid war unleashed by Washington against Moscow” could lead to this. This statement was made in the context of the difficult situation around the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START): the United States accuses Russia of non-compliance with it, which Russia categorically rejects. Academician Alexei Arbatov, head of the Centre for International Security of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Kommersant correspondent Yelena Chernenko how the current situation differs from the Cold War and what the Russian Federation and the United States can do to avoid escalation.

Question: The fate of START is now questioned. For the first time since 2011, when the treaty came into force, the United States accused the Russian Federation of violating it. Their claims relate to Moscow’s refusal to set a date for a meeting of the advisory commission on the treaty and give the green light to the resumption of inspections at strategic sites. Russia rejects the US accusations, putting forward counterclaims and insisting on a change in Washington’s policy on Ukraine. What do you think, can the treaty fall apart before its term ends?


Alexei Arbatov: True, clouds are gathering over the treaty now, its future is in question. Past experience demonstrates that attempts to use such treaties as an instrument of pressure on other issues do not facilitate the resolution of the latter, but may undermine strategic agreements. After all, such treaties, by definition, are possible only on the basis of equal interest of the parties, and therefore it is unlikely to receive an additional “bonus” for them. And the collapse of treaties (as in the case of the ABM Treaty, the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles – the INF Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty) harms the security of both the sides.


Question: Can the United States denounce START, as it was, for example, with the INF Treaty?


Alexei Arbatov: If there were a Republican administration in power in the United States (which some people in Russia dream of returning) and a person like Donald Trump was President, the Americans would easily withdraw from START. But the Democrats are in power there now, they have a more rational attitude towards the issues of strategic stability and control over nuclear weapons. It seems to me that under Joe Biden, the United States will not leave START unless something completely apocalyptic happens in Ukraine and if pressure on him during the 2024 election campaign does not drive the President into a political corner.


Question: So you think that even without commission meetings and inspections, the treaty can continue to operate until 2026?


Alexei Arbatov: Both the meetings of the bilateral consultative commission and, certainly, on-site inspections are an integral part of the START. Under the agreement, the parties have the right to conduct up to 18 inspections per year. The information obtained during such checks is important both technically and symbolically. I really hope that the parties will make efforts to resolve the issue of inspections and save the agreement.


Question: And what if one of the parties – say, the United States – announces its withdrawal from the START Treaty with reference to Russia’s non-compliance with it, as has happened more than once with arms control treaties? Or it cannot get any worse already?


Alexei Arbatov: No, it will be much worse. Experts’ calculations show that the collapse of START will allow the United States, if they wish, to double and even triple the number of its strategic nuclear warheads in a few years at minimal cost, and then to carry out the planned comprehensive renewal of nuclear forces with complete freedom of hands.


Strategic weapons are extremely expensive and long-term matter. Strategic weapons have a life cycle of 30-40 years. They have been developed and tested for ten years, then deployed for 10-15 years. They have been in service for another 20-30 years. In any case, you have to plan ahead for decades. At the same time, the range of planning options diverges very broadly. And in the absence of agreements, each party…


Question: Will proceed from a worst-case scenario?


Alexei Arbatov: That’s right – this is conservative military planning. Each side will proceed from the worst option and stuff in there a much as they can. An uncontrolled, unrestricted arms race will begin. Not only will it be extremely costly, but in addition to everything else, the threat of war will increase. If we did not have a treaty, then what is happening now in Ukraine, would have, very likely, brought us close to the brink of nuclear war already.


Question: Please, explain.


Alexei Arbatov: During the Caribbean Crisis, when there were no agreements and restrictions, the Soviet Union was afraid of a surprise nuclear attack by the United States. The Americans were then much stronger and had the opportunity to inflict a disarming nuclear strike on the USSR. The United States, in turn, were afraid of a preemptive strike by the Soviet Union, precisely because the USSR then could not bear the first strike and strike back, but could only hope for a preemptive strike.


A date was set for a US air raid on Soviet missile bases in Cuba. And these missiles were already equipped with nuclear warheads, and their command was given permission to strike at the United States in the event of an attack. Fortunately, the escalation was stopped in time. If they had lasted another two or three days, there would have been a nuclear war. The entire East Coast of the United States with the main cities and NATO countries would have been wiped off the face of the Earth, like the Soviet Union along with China and all their allies.


Now, despite the heavy losses and the completely unthinkable military-political situation in which we find ourselves, at the strategic level, no one is afraid of the first strike.


Question: After all, they seem to be afraid of nuclear war even now. Recently, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned that the world is “at the highest risk in decades of a nuclear war that could start by accident or design”. And in the Fall, US President Joe Biden spoke of the risk of “nuclear Armageddon”.


Alexei Arbatov: They say this, they say that, but no one has ever said that they fear a disarming strategic nuclear strike from the other side – which was the main fear in 1962. Thanks to the path that we have traveled over 60 years since the Caribbean Crisis, and the dozen agreements that have been concluded in this area, there is stability at the strategic level: both sides are sure that a disarming strike by the “counter-partner” is impossible, because a retaliatory strike is guaranteed. Therefore, when at the end of  February 2022, President Vladimir Putin announced a special mode of combat duty for the strategic deterrence forces, the Americans announced that they would not put their forces on high alert, and even canceled the scheduled launch of the old Minuteman-3 missile in order not to aggravate the situation.


The current fears are related to the fact that in the course of conventional hostilities on the territory of Ukraine there may come a moment when, for one reason or another, nuclear weapons will be used, although Moscow has never directly and literally threatened this. This will trigger a response from NATO, most likely in the form of a massive conventional missile strike against Russia, which will respond more massively against NATO, and a US strike will follow. They are afraid of escalation according to such a scenario.


Question: So, in general, the nuclear deterrence does work, right?


Alexei Arbatov: At the global level, it works, but there is no such certainty about the theater of military operations. The paradox of nuclear deterrence is that, in theory, it is designed to prevent unwanted actions by the other side by threatening their catastrophic consequences, but still it does not provide a 100% guarantee that the enemy will not cross the red line. And it may not understand where it lies (especially since it is customary to keep a veil of uncertainty here to enhance the effect). Or the opponent will consider it a bluff. Then, in order to prove that “this is not a bluff”, it will be necessary to actually use nuclear weapons, causing the very catastrophic consequences that nuclear deterrence was designed to prevent.


Question: And will not this fragile ecosystem not work without treaties between Russia and the United States, say, without START and some other agreements?


Alexei Arbatov: This system will not work, because if an unlimited nuclear and other arms race sets in, we will gradually lose a clear understanding of the enemy’s potential, and the enemy of our potential, and fears of a sudden disarming strike will return. And in the event of any crisis and direct military conflict, there will be an incentive to get act faster than the enemy. After all, as the President of Russia said, what did the St. Petersburg streets teach him?


Question: That one should strike first.


Alexei Arbatov: Yes, if a fight cannot be avoided, you should strike first. But exactly such a strike makes a fight inevitable and, in the case of a nuclear war, ends in the death of both sides. After all, all the nuclear powers have repeatedly recognised that in a nuclear war, unlike a street brawl, there can be no winners.


Question: UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the nuclear powers to continue disarming or at least pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Is there any chance that the leaders of the nuclear powers will heed his appeal, or has nuclear weapons, on the contrary, become more valuable over the past year for those who have them and attractive for those who do not?


Alexei Arbatov: Now there is virtually no chance of accepting this proposal. And not only for political reasons. Only India and China of the nine current nuclear powers formally have such an obligation (not to be the first to use nuclear weapons – Kommersant). For the most part, it is seen in the world as a political posture, rather than an operational concept for the use of nuclear weapons in case of war. The readiness to use these weapons in response to a nuclear attack is beyond doubt. As for being the first to use it, this is a very vague and doctrinally controversial issue. Most often, such a step is envisaged to repel aggression with conventional weapons, when the existence of one’s own state or allied countries, which have been given security guarantees, is threatened.


Nevertheless, in the distant future, such commitments may become one of the steps towards a nuclear-free world, if they are based on practical control and limitation agreements: for example, on the mutual lowering of the combat readiness of nuclear forces. But certainly, preliminary, it is necessary to remove the threat of aggression with the use of conventional weapons, and for this, mechanisms for the peaceful resolution of conflicts must be approved. It will not work to simply snatch the concept of the first use of nuclear weapons from the current militarised and conflicted international relations, no matter how attractive this idea may sound. In the light of the events of the past year, God help us that we avoid a return to an unrestricted nuclear arms race, enhancing of the focus on a first-use strategy, and a new wave of nuclear proliferation beyond the Nuclear Nine.


Question: Russia and the United States are now unable to agree on arms control, this area has become, in fact, hostage to their conflict over Ukraine. There is a feeling that during the Cold War the situation was different, and the parties managed to reach some kind of solutions in the sphere of strategic stability, despite tough confrontation in other areas. Why did it work then and does not work now?


Alexei Arbatov: Indeed, during the Cold War after the Caribbean Missile Crisis of 1962, negotiations on practical (in contrast to propagandists’) nuclear disarmament were generally successful and more or less uninterrupted. But sometimes many years passed between the conclusion of agreements, and not everything that was concluded could be ratified or fully implemented.


However, this has not happened before, when large-scale hostilities have been conducted in the centre of Europe for a whole year, in which one great power would be fully involved, while others indirectly participated through the supply of weapons and intelligence information.


We should also note something else. The leaders of that time were participants and eyewitnesses of the incredible suffering of the two world wars, remembered the horrors of Hiroshima, were witnesses of full-scale nuclear tests with a monstrous megatonnage. They had a kind of reverent fear of nuclear weapons as a harbinger of the end of the world. And it seems that the current generation of politicians and strategists does not feel anything like that, they are used to nuclear weapons and often treat them quite utilitarianly as a more or less effective means of politics, propaganda, and even actual warfare.


Question: Given everything that is happening today, how do you see the prospects in the field of arms control?


Alexei Arbatov: It would be nice to keep at least what we have. I am sure that strategic arms control is the core, the backbone of international security. And since we, thank God, are still not in a state of direct war with the United States and ultimately hope for a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, this framework must be maintained. And for this, we must fully comply with the last of the current bilateral treaties in this area, START, at least until its expiration date in 2026.


Starting serious negotiations on what could replace START is, in my opinion, unlikely to succeed until there is at least some progress towards peace in Ukraine, whether it be a long-term ceasefire or a process of a real peace settlement.


Question: In the most apocalyptic scenario, who will be in a more vulnerable position – Russia or the United States?


Alexei Arbatov: Both countries will be in the most vulnerable position, like the entire Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere will return to the Neanderthal state. Different experts give different estimates of probable losses, but they all amount to dozens of millions people. However, they do not wonder what to do with, for example, dozens of millions of decaying corpses, with billions of mutant rats carrying all kinds of infections. I am not going to pump more nightmares, but it is clear that the consequences of a nuclear war will be so terrible that the few survivors will not be able to remember and understand its cause.


Question: How can we get out of the current clinch?


Alexei Arbatov: First of all, we need to agree on a ceasefire in Ukraine, and then move things towards a peaceful settlement. It is impossible to talk about the details now, the situation “on the ground” is changing all the time. But the fundamental essence of reconciliation is to ensure the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine in exchange for the recognition of its sovereignty and territorial integrity within the agreed borders.


In parallel, it is necessary to resume negotiations between Russia and the United States on strategic stability in the framework of the next strategic offensive arms treaty after 2026. This will be a very difficult matter even without any revolting effect from politics. In addition to the traditional nuclear triads, we will have to coordinate restrictions on long- and medium-range high-precision conventional weapons, missile defence systems, tactical nuclear weapons, and space systems. Think about how to include into the regulation China’s rapidly growing nuclear potential and the forces of other nuclear powers.


Question: It looks like this is going to be a big headache.


Alexei Arbatov: Let us at least save the head for a start, and only then we will deal with the headache…




is a member of the Federal Political Committee of Yabloko. Head of the Centre for International Security of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Doctor of Historical Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences