Social Democratic Party of Russia

   Political party. Known in Russian as Sotzial-demokraticheskaia partiia Rossii, the SDPR was established by former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 2001. Commanding about 12,000 members, the party united a number of social democratic political parties under a single banner. Gorbachev left the party in 2004 over a dispute regarding the party’s support of a deal with the pro-Putin “party of power,” United Russia. The party’s membership dwindled under the leadership of Vladimir Kishenin, Gorbachev’s successor, and ultimately lost its official status in 2007 due to attrition. Many of the party faithful have reorganized as the Union of Social Democrats, a new party under the leadership of Gorbachev, which abstained from the 2007 State Duma elections to focus on becoming a major opposition party by 2011.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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