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    MOSCOW HOSTS CONGRESS OF RUSSIAN PATRIOTS

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    MOSCOW, March 20, 2004. (RIA Novosti). On Saturday Moscow will host the Congress of Russian Patriots involving 1,200 delegates, representatives of 65 all-Russia public organizations, including 15 political parties.

    It will be the most representative forum of Russia's patriotic forces, the congress organizing committee reported.

    Executive Committee Chairman of the Russian People's Patriotic Union (NPSR), State Duma deputy Gennady Semigin (the Communist faction) is the initiator of the forum. Preparations for the congress were done with great secrecy. The organizing committee refused to name parties participating in the forum.

    According to RIA Novosti's source close to the organizers, representatives of Russia's Revival Party, People's Party, People's Will, Rodina (Motherland) and the Social Justice Party will participate in the congress. The delegates are expected to outline the format, ideology and tasks of the new political formation.

    Communist leaders not invited to the congress do not hide their irritation of the possible emergence of the new left-wing formation. According to Communist Party (KPRF) chief Gennady Zyuganov, the upcoming congress is a dirty trick aimed to ruin his party and the left-patriotic movement. Relations between Zyuganov and Semigin are highly abrasive. To relinquish Gennady Semigin's hold over the Russian People's Patriotic Union, the KPRF Central Committee took some preventive measures on Thursday. Communist leaders proposed NPSR to transfer its finance flows under the control of the Coordination Council headed by Gennady Zyuganov.

    After the Congress of Russian Patriots the Russian People's Patriotic Union can obviously see radical changes. In case of Semigin's reinforcement, the Communist Party can secede from the Russian People's Patriotic Union.

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