Photo: Viktor Pokhmelkin
and Sergei Ivanenko at a press conference in the State Duma.
November 22, 2000.
Sergei Ivanenko: Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, we
joint press conference of Yabloko and the Union of Right-Wing
consider the problem of the state symbols of Russia. Today the
Council will meet to consider this issue as well.
Yesterday the Coordination Council of our two factions adopted
that we would like to inform you about.
The Yabloko and the SPS factions of the State Duma will not support
draft law to restore the music by Alexandrov as the new Hymn for
Federation, regardless of the words and texts proposed for this
We think that this initiative may be placed on the same rank
ideas as restoration of restoring post No 1 by Lenin’s Mausoleum
changing of the guards by the Mausoleum)and the monument to Dzerzhinsky
(Ed. the first Chief of the KGB) at Lubyanka Square in Moscow.
We consider such attempts as a test before the restoration of
of a totalitarian system that are far from symbolic.
We pay tribute to the symbols of the past era, but cannot forget
“Stalin’s” hymn is closely connected to bloody crimes against
We think that the hymn of Russia cannot be imposed onto society
top, by decision of the State Council or the State Duma. It should
consolidate Russian society, rather than split it into opposing
Therefore the Yabloko and Union of Right-Wing Forces factions
vote against the draft law to restore the music of Alexandrov
hymn of the Russian Federation.
We hope that our appeal, as well as the appeal of the broad layers
society, will be heard by the authorities.
Viktor Pokhmelkin: Dear ladies and gentlemen, I would like to
add a few
Unfortunately, all other deputy associations in the State Duma,
Yabloko and the SPS, have supported unanimously approval of the
Alexandrov as the proposed new hymn of the Russian Federation.
representatives of these deputy associations have already made
announcement at the meetings of their factions. We believe that
disturbing and dangerous trend, as the adoption of this hymn will
inevitably lead to a split in society. This decision will provoke
by a large part of the Russian people. Today, as you know, many
cultural figures, representatives of the intelligentsia and victims
Stalin’s crimes, for whom the hymn of the Soviet Union is inevitably
connected with the totalitarian regime send their appeals to the
For our factions this is a principled position. Today’s press
virtually marks the beginning of a political parliamentary fight
Duma majority, who are trying to impose this hymn onto our country.
At the same time, society has not yet developed a clear understanding
of this problem and the attitude of the President of the Russian
Federation to this issue. We cannot say that President Putin has
made some choice, that the Presidential Administration has clearly
formulated its position. The task of the Administration now is
to find a maximum consensus in the State Duma and in society.
Form this point of view, it seems to me that any rush to adopt
a decision on the hymn would constitute a big mistake, even if
it receives 300 votes in the Duma and three-quarters of the required
votes in the Federation Council. In this sense we will continue
our task with the Administration to avert what is in our opinion
a serious political error.
and the SPS oppose restoration of the symbols of the Soviet Union
proposes the march “Farewell of a Slavic woman” as a new hymn
and the SPS will not support the Alexandrov hymn for Russia