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The Kremlin’s foes got on the same page for an election. Can they stay there?

Once the council, or city Duma, gets down to business, though, “I don’t believe they can create something like a coalition,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the head of a think tank called R.Politik. “They will not work together.”
Last month, at a Communist Party rally in Moscow, its leader, Gennady Zyuganov, attacked the liberals as being under the sway of foreign governments. While banners with Stalin’s likeness flapped in the breeze, he talked about his party’s wish “to restore the Soviet Union in a new form.”

That is not what Navalny and his allies envision.

The Communist Party is often disdained by urban liberals as a tame grouping nurtured by the Kremlin to give the appearance of democratic opposition in Russia. But it is misguided, Stanovaya said, “to think the Communists are a party that always plays the game with the Kremlin, that they’re under Kremlin control.”

There are party branches all over Russia, creating a strong and widespread network. As quiescent as it has been, Stanovaya said that if it were galvanized, it could pose a bigger threat to the Kremlin than the liberals could ever dream of.

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