A centrist political party in the Russian Federation supporting gradual transition to a market economy. The formation was launched in 1993 as the Yavlinskii-Boldyrev-Lukin Bloc, named after its three founders, who were economist Grigorii Yavlinskii, scientist Yurii Boldyrev and former Ambassador Vladimir Lukin. It became generally known by its Yabloko acronym (meaning 'apple' in Russian) and Yavlinskii emerged as its leader. Opposing the 'shock therapy' of the administration of Boris Yeltsin in pursuit of a market economy, Yabloko won 33 seats and 7.8% of the proportional vote in the December 1993 elections to the State Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly). Having condemned the Russian military operation in Chechnya launched in December 1994, Yabloko took fourth place in the December 1995 State Duma elections by advancing to 45 seats, although its proportional vote share fell to 6.9%.
Yabloko's candidate in the mid-1996 presidential election was Yavlinskii, who came fourth in the first round with 7.3% of the vote and gave qualified support to Yeltsin in the second. The party nevertheless opposed many aspects of the Government's subsequent economic policy, drawing particular support from older professionals. In the December 1999 State Duma elections, Yabloko fell back to 21 seats with 5.9% of the proportional vote, while Yavlinskii obtained virtually the same percentage vote in the March 2000 presidential elections won by Vladimir Putin. Yabloko thereafter adopted a stance of 'constructive opposition' to the Putin administration.
Plans were announced in June 2000 for an alliance between Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces (SPS), providing initially for the presentation of joint candidates in forthcoming elections and possibly leading to a full merger. However, although the two formations had similar pro-market economic and social programmes, doubts about the viability of the alliance centred on whether it would follow Yabloko's line of opposing the Putin administration or the SPS line of giving it qualified support.
Leadership: Grigorii Yavlinskii (Chair.).
Address: Novy Arbat 36, Moscow.