January 03, 2023

Keep Calm and Be Polite


Keep Calm and Be Polite
United Russia campaigners in Saint Petersburg during the Russian 2007 election Wikimedia Commons, Lite.

According to RBC, the United Russia party (the largest political party in Russia, holding over 72% of seats in the State Duma) has developed a code of conduct for deputies. The main purpose of the code is to help them avoid media scandals. 

In particular, UR deputies are advised not to rush to react on social networks or in comments to the media. According to the creators of the code, the media advantages of being first to comment can encourage incorrect statements.

In addition, it is categorically not recommended to comment on the "international agenda" or military and internal conflicts in other countries before voicing the official position of the Foreign Ministry. And, of course, UR member comments should not contradict the state's official position.

But that's not all. The code advises members not to write on social networks in an "inadequate" physical and mental state, not to use obscenity, and to control their emotions and reactions.

A separate paragraph in the code suggests that members not post photos or videos of luxury goods, exotic travel, and fancy restaurants on social networks.

RBC does not report on the reasons for the creation of the code of conduct. Yet it is likely related to the frequent scandals that arose as a result of careless statements by UR deputies. 

In particular, in January 2022, deputy Biysultan Khamzaev published a post on Telegram proposing a referendum in Kazakhstan to reunify Kazakhstan with the "historical homeland" of Russia. Soon after, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev publicly declared the inadmissibility of such statements.

Another scandal occurred in February 2022. In a live video on Instagram, United Russia Deputy Adam Delimkhanov promised to decapitate family members of former federal judge Saidi Yangulbayev

After that statement, the Head of the party A Just Russia — For Truth, Sergey Mironov, called on the prosecutor's office to evaluate Delimkhanov's words and even called on the FSB to ensure the safety of the retired judge's family

Scandals have even touched State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin. In September 2022, after the announcement of partial mobilization, Volodin wrote on Telegram that Russians who are on the military register are forbidden from leaving the country without the permission of military commissariats. Only a few hours later, Volodin had to write a new post and report that his previous post was wrong. 

The press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin (the most well-known member of the United Russia party) later had to reassure the Russian public and clarify that the speaker of the State Duma can still be considered a "reliable source of information."

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