23 August 2012, 17:10
Several thousand-strong party to seek restoration of monarchy in Russia
Moscow, August 23, Interfax - Russian pro-Orthodox Church activists have set up a party called Samoderzavnaya Rossiya (Autocratic Russia) with the stated objective of restoring the monarchy via parliamentary procedures and, according to one of its leaders, brings together several thousand people.
Without monarchy, Russia would be unable to carry out tasks put before it in the 15th century, "when God put Russia in the place of Byzantium," Valentin Lebedev, head of the Union of Orthodox Citizens and one of Autocratic Russia's leaders, told the Interfax-Religion portal.
"Building the Third Rome is the task of the Russian people. By their work to carry out this task, our ancestors built the greatest state in the world, the Russian Empire," he said.
"We set ourselves the task of bringing the lofty spiritual ideals that the Orthodox Church enshrines into all spheres of society, primarily into government, in other words into political life," Lebedev said.
The leader of Autocratic Russia is Dmitry Merkulov, a journalist and public figure.
Lebedev said the creation of the party started last year, before Russia simplified its legislation on setting up parties.
"At the moment, the registration process is underway," he said. "After its registration the party will launch a practical struggle for power, first locally and then in the State Duma."
Lebedev said Autocratic Russia has several thousand members living in various parts of the country.