Gennadiy Seleznyov

Gennadiy Nikolayevich Seleznyov (Russian: Геннадий Николаевич Селезнёв; 6 November 1947 – 19 July 2015) was a Russian politician, the Chairman of the State Duma[1] from 1996 to 2003.[2]

Gennadiy Seleznyov
Геннадий Селезнёв
Gennady Seleznyov (2000-01-18).jpg
7th Chairman of the State Duma
In office
17 January 1996 – 29 December 2003
Preceded byIvan Rybkin
Succeeded byBoris Gryzlov
Member of the State Duma
In office
12 December 1993 – 2 December 2007
Leader of the Party of Russia's Rebirth
In office
29 October 2002 – 19 July 2015
Succeeded byViktor Arkhipov (acting)
Igor Ashurbeyli
Personal details
Gennadiy Nikolayevich Seleznyov

(1947-11-06)6 November 1947
Serov, Sverdlovsk Oblast, RSFSR
Died19 July 2015(2015-07-19) (aged 67)
Moscow, Russia
Political partyCommunist Party (1968–2002) Party of Russia's Rebirth (2002–2015)
Spouse(s)Irina Seleznyova
ChildrenTatyana Seleznyova and Kirill Seleznyov
Alma materSaint Petersburg State University


Born at Serov in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Gennadiy Seleznyov went to school from 1954 to 1964. He went to study journalism and joined the communist party. In 1969 he finished university and started working for the Pravda newspaper. After the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was outlawed in 1991, Seleznyov quit it. In 1993, however, he joined the Communist Party of the Russian Federation led by Gennadiy Zyuganov.

First term as the Speaker of the DumaEdit

In the 1995 Parliamentary elections in Russia, the Communist Party took the majority. However, Zyuganov did not become the speaker of the Duma as he was too busy with his 1996 Presidential campaign. Instead, he offered the job to his fellow communist Gennadiy Seleznyov. Seleznyov took office in 1996.

As speaker Seleznyov protested against many reforms of President Boris Yeltsin and the Party rejected several reforms like the proposed complete denationalization of land in 1998. When Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko opened the markets, Seleznyov protested saying the Russian economy wasn't ready yet. In 1999 the Communist Party once again took the largest number of seats and Seleznyov was re-inaugurated.

Preemptive Announcement of Volgodonsk BombingsEdit

Seleznyov gained a degree of infamy during his time as speaker for his announcement, shortly before an apartment bombing in Moscow, that an apartment building in Volgodonsk had been bombed[3]. The mistake amidst a series of apartment bombings was initially ignored.

However, when the city did see a bombing only three days later, Vladimir Zhirinovsky took Seleznyov to task[4].

“Recollect, Gennady Nikolaevich, you told us on Monday that the apartment block in Volgodonsk had been blown up. Three days before the explosion… The State Duma knew that the apartment block had been blown up on Monday, and it was blown up on Thursday… We In Moscow knew about the explosion three days before it had happened!"-Vladimir Zhirinovsky[5]

Dissident Alexander Litvinenko later described the incident as a case of the KGB mixing up the dates of the planned bombings[6], though controversy still surrounds the cause of the early announcement[7].

Governor candidateEdit

In 1999 Gennadiy Seleznyov also ran for Governor of Moscow Oblast. However, he lost to the former general and vice presidential candidate Boris Gromov.

Second termEdit

Gennadiy Seleznyov and Vladimir Putin, 21 November 2001

Seleznyov originally supported the new President Vladimir Putin when the latter made a majority, making an alliance with the centrists and the ultra-rightist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. He supported Putin on most issues. When in 2001 the communists lost many seats he surprisingly did not protest. Seleznyov then said that the Communist Party had to adapt to the new generation and to adopt liberal social values creating a Eurocommunist party. However, party leader Gennadiy Zyuganov dismissed such calls and in 2002 Seleznyov was expelled from the party.[citation needed]


Following his expulsion, Seleznyov remained the Duma Speaker. However, he was frequently attacked by both the leftists and the rightists. He received support from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and was considered a Social Democrat. In 2003 the party United Russia supporting President Putin took the majority in the Duma and Boris Gryzlov became the new Speaker. Seleznov stood for the Duma as the leader of a new party, the Party of Russia's Rebirth. The party did very badly although Seleznov won a single member mandate in St Petersburg, beating liberal MP Irina Khakamada.[citation needed]

Personal life and deathEdit

Seleznyov had a son, Kirill Seleznyov (b. 1974), who is a prominent Russian businessman and a top-manager of Gazprom. Gennadiy Seleznyov died from complications due to lung cancer in Moscow on 19 July 2015.[8]

Honours and awardsEdit


  1. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Parliament speaker chosen".
  2. ^ Sputnik (19 July 2015). "Former Russian Duma Speaker Seleznyov Dies at Age 67".
  3. ^ Goldfarb, Alexander; Litvinenko, Marina (2007), Death of a Dissident, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4165-5165-2
  4. ^ Satter, D. (2002). The Shadow of Ryazan: Who Was Behind the Strange Russian Apartment Bombings in September 1999?. Project on Systemic Change and International Security in Russia and the New States of Eurasia.
  5. ^ ibid
  6. ^ Goldfarb, Alexander; Litvinenko, Marina (2007), Death of a Dissident, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4165-5165-2
  7. ^ Bruce Ware, R. (2005). Revisiting Russia's apartment block blasts. Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 18(4), 599-606.
  8. ^ "Умер Геннадий Селезнев". Kommersant. 19 July 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivan Rybkin
Chairman of the State Duma
17 January 1996 – 29 December 2003
Succeeded by
Boris Gryzlov