Russia Mulls Muscular New Title For Strongman Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the members of the Russian Business Congress Delovaya Rossiya at the Kremlin, in Moscow,on February 3, 2022.
ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian lawmakers a floating a title for Vladimir Putin more fitting of an iron-fisted strongman with a lifetime grip on the Kremlin: “Ruler.”

The nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, which is not what its name might suggest to Americans, proposed the new moniker, “pravitel” in Russian, as a replacement for Putin’s current title of “president,” Newsweek reported. The reason, according to the party, is that “president” never really rolled off the Russian tongue.

“In our country, by historical standards, [president] is generally a new word, and until it takes root completely, you can safely replace it,” the party said in a statement. “For example, with the phrase ‘head of state’ or the word ‘ruler.’ Both are more understandable to the Russian ear.”

“President” has “always embarrassed us,” the party said.

Putin also served two stints as prime minister in his two-decade-plus tenure as a way of getting around term limits.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the party’s long-time leader and a Putin sycophant, proposed on several occasions referring to the president as the “Supreme Ruler.”

Two years ago, the Russian parliament nixed an LDPR proposal to call the president “supreme ruler.”

The Kremlin said at the time that Putin had no view on the proposal.

The Kremlin, which could make the change, responded in neutral terms.

“It is a new idea. There is no position on this matter,” said Putin’s top spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, according to Russian state-owned news outlet TASS.

Earlier this year, Putin likened himself to Tsar Peter the Great in justifying the February invasion of Ukraine. He said he was acting in the tradition of Russia’s first emperor to recoup ancestral Russian lands.

“Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years,” Putin said, according to Reuters. “It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them.

Putin was prime minister of Russia from 1999-2000, and served in the role again from 2008-2012, with presidential terms in between. Despite this seeming change in leadership, no one was confused about who was in charge.

He was most recently re-elected in 2018, garnering 77% of the vote in an election with many voting irregularities. The next election is set for 2024, and although the nation still has its two-term limit that forced him to change titles in 2008, a 2020 “constitutional reform” granted him the right to run for another two terms.

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