In order to consolidate society, endow it with one idea and, possibly, encroach on the creation of a united ideology in May 2011, a few months before the elections to the State Duma, the All-Russian Popular Front, or ONF, was formed. The initiator of the new movement was Vladimir Putin - at that time the head of the Russian government, the former chairman of the United Russia party. He asked why the All-Russian Popular Front is necessary, how to join it, at the first congress of the People’s Front in detail, opening up opportunities for joining any pro-government structure for any political forces, as well as non-partisan representatives of public organizations of any kind and direction.
The idea of forming a ONF was associated with the desire to unite numerous public organizations under a common roof, while not having an obvious political connotation. It was the declaration of the absence of political preferences that ensured the supra-party position of the new structure. At the same time, members of the ONF have the opportunity to go to parliamentary, as well as any local elections on the lists of "United Russia", not being its members.
On June 12, 2011 a central headquarters was established. The All-Russian Popular Front was headed by Vladimir Putin, and Alexey Anisimov became the head of the executive committee. He moved to a new post from the post of deputy chief of the Office of the President of Russia on domestic politics.
It is worth noting that the officially new organization was not positioned as a kind of political force or lobbying mechanism. However, it was precisely about these functions that, in the first place, experts began to speak, both Russian and foreign.
The creation of the new movement was officially explained by the desire to attract new faces, proposals and ideas. This was relevant precisely in connection with the upcoming parliamentary elections to the State Duma of the sixth convocation. Under the aegis of the ONF, fresh forces gathered to support United Russia, and a platform was created for the upcoming 2012 presidential campaign. Thus began the All-Russian Popular Front. How to enter into it, its goals and objectives, political function - all these issues have been discussed for a long time on the Web and on television.
The ONF program was prepared by the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies. But the text did not satisfy the main leaders, so the final version of the program was compiled on the basis of the speeches of Dmitry Medvedev (at that time the president of Russia) and Vladimir Putin. As a logo, they chose the image of a checkmark, one wing of which is made in the form of the Russian tricolor, and the second is the full name of the organization.
The declared goals and objectives
From the entire extensive program of the ONF, one can distinguish a certain quintessence of the main provisions, which boiled down to the task of building a sovereign democratic and strong state. Such a consolidation of society also involves building a market economy, the leading principles of which should be competition, freedom of entrepreneurship, support for small and medium-sized businesses, and social partnership. In addition, the ONF sees its goal as the formation of a free and successful society, built on the basis of equality on all grounds of differentiation.
Within a month, 450 public organizations, all-Russian and regional, were among the members of the newborn ONF. An application for accession addressed to Prime Minister Putin at the same time sent more than 170 associations and movements. In particular, the Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan, the Union of Women, the Union of Pensioners and others were among the first to join.
To the question "how to join the All-Russian Popular Front?" Prime Minister’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied that this could be done via the Internet and Putin’s public receptions. To apply, on the official website of ONF, you must fill out a form similar to the profiles of popular social networks. Fields are required to indicate first name, surname, education, social status, home address.
Then there was a certain embarrassment when the All-Russian Popular Front, how to enter into which was explained in detail on the official website, published a list in the column "Social Status", which indicated "homeless person", "unemployed" and "prisoner". At that very moment on the Internet, bloggers began to actively poke fun at this subject, recalling the country's “main prisoners” - Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Today, the site does not have such a list in the public domain.
There should not be "I joined the ONF"
Two years after the formation of the movement, the news appeared in the media that only private individuals would be allowed to join the Popular Front . The active entry by entire labor collectives, due to which its mass character was created, gave rise to various kinds of rumors, including the assertion that the vast majority of such "masses" did not enter the organization of their own free will. Such a decision was explained as a desire to clearly indicate how to join the All-Russian Popular Front, so that there would be no suspicion from the series "I joined the ONF."
In addition, initially there was a “free accession”, not documented in any way. Since 2013, each new participant in the movement must sign a declaration, by which he confirms his agreement with the ONF course.
Today, questions about the All-Russian Popular Front itself - how to join it and whether it is necessary at all - few people worry. After the last presidential election, the public booming activity of the movement has somewhat subsided. In this regard, it makes sense to assume that the ONF will again be activated on the eve of the Duma elections in December 2016. Given that for the first time since 2003 they will go through a mixed system (half of the seats will go according to party lists, half will go to single-member districts), it is logical to assume that the ONF will become the main tool for finding new faces.