The Union of Right Forces is one of the opposition parties in Russia created in the 1990s by Russia’s so-called young reformers, backed by the architect of reforms at RAO UES Anatoly Chubais (who subsequently assumed further posts in state-related organisations, such as Rusnano and became part of the establishment), the late Yegor Gaidar, who was responsible for the shock economic reforms in 1992 and decried developments since 2000, Nikita Belykh, who resigned from the party in 2008 and is currently governor of Kirov Oblast, and Boris Nemtsov, who also left the party and is now one of the myriad opposition leaders. He has become one of the foremost critics of the current political regime and has been arrested on three occasions for his views. Nemtsov is one of the leaders of the People’s Freedom Party.
The party was in Russia’s parliament until 2003 when it failed to secure the threshold number of votes required to be part of the State Duma (5 per cent of total votes).
The party was revived in 2011 when billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was nominated leader with the Kremlin’s approval. However, he resigned shortly afterwards, after falling out of favour with Russia’s leadership for praising the crackdown on corruption in Georgia and demanding changes in Russia.
According to an article in Svobodnaya Pressa [Free Press] on 10 January 2012, the party could now serve as the platform for former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who resigned in September 2011 allegedly on learning that President Dmitry Medvedev would become Russia’s Prime Minister following the anticipated election of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as Russian President for a third term in 2012.
Differences between Putin and Kudrin may be greater than assumed previously, as Kudrin unexpectedly turned up at one of the protest rallies in Moscow over the falsification of votes in the December 2011 parliamentary elections.