Putin should be called ‘ruler’ not ‘president’ – Kremlin loyalists want stunning change

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Russia has been reportedly looking at swapping words and terms which it believes came from the West following the start of its invasion of Ukraine nearly five months ago. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) – often seen as being particularly loyal to the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin – insisted considering the renaming of the presidential term is “important”. The nationalist party, which is often used by the Kremlin to float some of its more extreme ideas, has proposed the change as the term “president” has not yet taken “root completely” in Russia, according to state-run news outlet RIA Novosti.

The LDPR claimed using the term “president” has “always embarrassed us”, arguing it was first used at the end of the 18th century in the US, and “much later (it) spread throughout the world”.

The press service of the LDPR in the lower house of the Russian parliament told the Tass news agency: “Although constitutional amendments are not on the current agenda, we still insist that it is important to call the country’s main post in Russia.

“We suggest two options: either a ruler or a head of state.”

The LDPR also said: “In our country, by historical standards, this is generally a new word, and until it takes root completely, you can safely replace it.

“For example, with the phrase ‘head of state’ or the word ‘ruler’. Both are more understandable to the Russian ear.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Tass: “It is a new idea. There is no position on this matter.”

The proposal from the LDPR would align with the mood in Russia which, pushed by the Kremlin to fight punishments inflicted by the West, is promoting Russian substitutes for Western products, brands and words.

The Kremlin often uses the LDPR, which has 22 seats in Russia’s 450-seat Duma (parliament), to peddle some of its more extreme ideas.

It can reject or adopt any of these depending on whether a proposal attracts public derision or support.

The LDPR’s long-serving leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky – who had ruled the party for three decades since its creation in 1992 – died in April at the age of 75.

He was known for his staunch support for Russian military action against NATO and was so close to the Kremlin that Putin even attended his funeral in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

In addition to supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine, Zhirinovsky also wanted his country to reclaim northern Kazakhstan, where millions of ethnic Russians live.

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On several occasions, he had proposed referring to the president as the “Supreme Ruler” so as to create a significant difference in job titles that stem from foreign languages.

In 2020, the LDPR suggested renaming the post of the head of state as this term, but it was rejected by the State Duma, the Russian lower house of parliament.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at the time: “Right now all this is at the discussion stage. President Putin has no view on this.”

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