Kremlin allies have called for Vladimir Putin to be addressed as the country’s ‘Ruler’ rather than his current title ‘President’.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) has suggested the use of Pravitel, a Russian title, as it is more befitting of Putin’s status and role.
The right-wing party has 22 seats out of the 450 in the country’s parliament and is currently used by the Kremlin to gently float its more radical ideas and garner evidence on their popularity.
It comes as Russia continues to push for substitutes for products, brands and words from the West amid sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine in February.
The LDPR has argued in Russian media that Putin’s current ‘President’ title was actually first coined in the US in the 18th century, The Telegraph reports, and Pravitel should be used instead despite its autocratic connotations.
Putin attended the funeral of the party’s former leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky died in April, such were his close links to the Kremlin.
On December 22, 2021, Zhirinovsky told MPs in a speech that the invasion would start on 22 February, though it actually began on the evening of February 23, and heralded a ‘new direction in Russian foreign policy’.
It was Zhirinovsky’s last speech in the State Duma and his disappearance came amid rumours he had annoyed the Kremlin by announcing an invasion that Putin wanted to keep quiet about.
Zhirinvosky was known for provocative stunts and anti-Western tirades that kept him in the public eye for more than three decades.
Pravitel has deep and historical connections in Russia, with the Romanov family having near total control the country as Tsars from 1613 to 1917.
Tsar can also carry a similar meaning to Pravitel, but it is more commonly known as ’emperor’.
But ‘president’ was only picked up towards the end of the Soviet Union, when Mikhail Gorbachev was identified as its president.
Before then, leaders of the USSR had instead been known as Communist Party Chairman or General Secretary.
Critics of Putin have argued that he already has total power in Russia and rules as an autocratic Tsar.
It comes as Putin is ‘preparing fresh attacks in Ukraine as he moves reserves across Russia to Ukraine border’, the British Ministry of Defence reports after Kremlin warned fighting ‘hasn’t started in earnest yet’.
‘Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations,’ defence sources said today.
However, they claimed that Russia’s kit is antiquated and dilapidated, adding: ‘Many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment.’