The well loved former U.S. mixed martial arts fighter Jeffrey Monson from Minnesota, who back in May was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin, achieved one of his dreams and was elected on Sunday to the council of deputies of a small city just outside Moscow. This is according to official election results shown on Monday.
The United Russia party won 47.9 percent of this vote, which automatically secured a seat for Monson
Monson, 47, a tattooed MMA fighter known in the cage as The Snowman, had registered back in June in order to run for a seat on the council of Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow. Election documents show that he still has a passion for the sport, working as a coach in a sports club.
Monson was listed as fourth on the ruling United Russia party’s list of candidates for the Krasnogorsk city council, which many will take interest in because previously he was an outspoken communist.
On his twitter, Monson, who has previously cultivated ties to the Russian Communist Party, explained why he ran this time as an independent.
“I was invited by United Russia party to run but I am independent. Unfortunately I learned there are no communists in Communist party in Russia,” Monson said on Monday. This is a view shared by any number of Russian communists. In Russia today, however, there are numerous communist organizations besides the KPRF, of which he is or was affiliated.
At issue for others like Monson, is that the KPRF does not appear to only advocate for any revolutionary work in modern Russia. While this allows it to be an actively large parliamentary party, it reduces its appeal to both radical youth and workers who are displeased with the fact that Russia has one of the highest wealth inequality ratios in the world. This was a result of the 1990’s and the betrayal of socialism by Gorbachev and then Yeltsin.
While Putin is not a communist, he has done more to restore a semblance of the basic conditions which existed during the period of socialism, as Russia has seen rising wages, health care access, education spending, infrastructure, life expectancy, and lowered infant mortality. It is for these reasons that Monson said that he would be running on the United Russia ticket. Many communists, even those registered in the KPRF, in fact vote for the United Russia party.
Monson, is a well-loved and respected fighter, and an open friend both of Russians and of the cause of communism. He is therefore a critic of U.S. foreign policy. Back in January 2016 he explained why he was applying for Russian citizenship. He had felt a sense of vision and solidarity with the Russian people ever since he first visited their country in 2011.
“Everything I do in Krasnogorsk – it’s because I love Russia,” Monson was said