Congress of Russian Communities
The Congress of Russian Communities (Russian: Конгресс русских общин, Kongress russkikh obschin, KRO) is a nationalist political organization in Russia. It was created in the early 1990s initially to promote the rights of ethnic Russians living in the newly independent countries of the former Soviet Union.
The group contested a number of elections to the Duma in the 1990s. In the 1995 Duma election, the group took 4.3% of the vote, just missing the 5% threshold to gain seats. In 1999 it again failed to pass the 5% threshold, although KRO candidates did win a small number of single-mandate district seats.
In 1996 Alexander Lebed used the KRO as the organisational vehicle for his campaign for the Presidency. Lebed was surprisingly successful, taking 15% of the popular vote and later going on to become governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai.
In 2006 the KRO was revived by Russian nationalist politician Dmitry Rogozin following the merger of his Rodina party into a new Fair Russia coalition. Rogozin initially stated that he would turn the KRO into a political party to contest the Duma elections in December 2007.
In April 2007 Rogozin announced that he had formed a new party, the Great Russia Party, in conjunction with the nationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration. The party would campaign for seats in the Duma and initially stated its support for Alexander Lukashenko's candidacy for the Russian Presidency, a campaign which is impossible as Lukashenko is not a Russian citizen.