President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Zyuganov, it has been a while since we agreed to sit down and discuss the current situation and our interaction.
Tell me, the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Communist Party is today or tomorrow?
Leader of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov: The 2nd Extraordinary Restoration Congress began 30 years ago today. The ruling was handed down by the Constitutional Court, where we sat for hearings for eight months. I must give it to Mr Zorkin [Constitutional Court Chairman], he did not cave in, even though the pressure was overwhelming.
Vladimir Putin: To ban the party?
Gennady Zyuganov: They wanted to close down everyone.
Importantly, when we made it clear that almost everyone starting from Georgy Zhukov and Mikhail Sholokhov were communists, and this organisation cannot be outlawed without upsetting the balance… There were only two people on the Constitutional Court who were not CPSU members, but they still handed down that ruling. We, including myself, made proper preparations.
Tomorrow will mark 30 years since I was elected. All told, you have someone with vast political experience sitting in front of you.
Vladimir Putin: I am aware of that.
Mr Zyuganov, happy anniversary to you and your party members. Congratulations to you on tomorrow’s election anniversary.
I hope as a force representing a significant part of the country’s patriotic movement, the Communist Party will remain such going forward. The party makes a substantial contribution to the political discussion and the quest for the best solutions to move the country forward in the social sphere, the economy, defence and security – we have never had any differences on that level, I think. On the contrary, the Communist Party was often one step ahead and raised national security issues of today and tomorrow with authorities at all levels. Without a doubt, our dialogue is now doubly or even triply important.
I am pleased to see you.
Gennady Zyuganov: Thank you, Mr President.
It should be said that you have always been receptive to our requests, proposals, and legislative initiatives. In this regard, we value our dialogue, especially now that, in fact, a crusade and a new war have been declared on our civilisation and the entire Russian world.
Social cohesion, mobilisation of all forces, parties, and movements…What matters most now is the “party of Russia,” its sovereignty, independence and our common freedom. The entire left-wing patriotic bloc that I head – 56 organisations in all – is standing behind it strongly as one. We have done much for Donbass, with the 105th humanitarian convoy about to leave soon. We have sent 17,000 tonnes of cargo, we provide regular help, and welcomed 12,000 children to Russia.
You supported Iosif Kobzon and us when we were founding the Children of Russia to Children of Donbass movement. We will welcome 2,000 more children to Snegiri this year.
By the way, engaging with children, schoolchildren and educators is extremely important, since children were brainwashed en masse by filthy Nazi propaganda. In two weeks, more children will come, and we will show them Red Square, the Kremlin, the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy, places of military glory, and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. They are new people by the time they go back. Your instruction to the governors, regions, universities, schools, and vocational schools was important. They invite and welcome the children, giving rise to good and friendly relations without which it is impossible to bring life back to normal.
I believe the fight against Nazis today has taken on a fateful significance. I worked for 20 years at the Council of Europe and I never thought that Europe could become so submissive to the Americans who have become completely brazen of late. But, I hope, we must win – and we will win.
Vladimir Putin: That is the way it is going to be. Thank you.
Gennady Zyuganov: Thank you.