Фото: EPA/Vostock-photo

Фото: EPA/Vostock-photo

Under the outcome of government is meant both interim and final results. A few people remember today times of Putin’s seizure of power in Russia on the brink of dissolution when he showed his worth as liberal in economy, reformer in policy; as a savior of tranquility and order in society. It was lucky happenstance that oil prices rose to reanimate economy and raise living standards of population. This notwithstanding, the struggle against oligarchs testified to this politician’s ambitions toward individual rule. Wars with post-Soviet countries (Georgia, 2008; Eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, 2014), Munich statements of Putin and world crisis was accompanied by patriotic expatiations and struggle for returning the former USSR” status of world power. These developments resulted in eradication of democracy in the country, discontinuation of public debates and transformation of stability into political and economic stagnation. The pandemic-affected situation called for struggle against inflation, maintenance of balanced budget, increase in reserves in the country ranking 12th in the world economy and forming 30% GDP at the expense of 50% hydrocarbon. The economy is expected to reduce 6,6% in 2020 (5,5% in May). Even worse, unemployment rose from 4,7% in March to 6,1% in May.It must be acknowledged that the EU decided to prolong economic sanctions against Russia till 31.01.21, and restricted Russian banks’ access to the EU banking system.


Overcoming of the critical situation in the country was dependent on the stereotyped pattern: comprehensive reforms or legislative toughening and further centralization of political regime in Russia. They decided in favor of the second variant: passing a formal vote of confidence in the current political course at the expense of nationwide voting on making amendments to the Constitution. To persuade citizens vote for amendments, they drew up a multicolored set of conservative, patriotic and social changes (indexation of pensions, social aid, etc.).

«Guided by principles of autocracy, he will be tightening up freedoms, oppressing the liberal opposition but not the end: he needs the opposition to reveal corruption in higher echelons of power. In so doing, he will able to keep control over the governmental elite. Also, he will be tightly confronting the West, on the brink of serious conflict, in an effort to make it take Russia seriously. The confrontation of this sort will help him guarantee internal consolidation in our economically undeveloped country and maintain the stability of the regime», according to the forecast of well-known Russian writer Victor Yerofeyev. Down with democratic rubbish. Frankfurter Algemeine (25.06.20).

However, restoration of the Russian prestige comes at a price: through taking the part of junior partner of China. All risks of such a game would hardly give preferences for imaginary equality with the USA.

. Both Moscow and Beijing are temporarily unanimous in rehabilitating the previous world order as set forth in Westfal treaty and Yalta agreements under which the world exists to comply with regulations instituted by a restricted circle of superpowers. Putin suggests holding a global security dialogue in autumn with the participation of five members of the UN Security Council.


It should be remembered that nation-wide voting over more than 200 amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation started on June 25 to last a week till July 1. This circumstance made it difficult to keep track of ballot boxes and, instead, made it easier to manipulate the process, including re-run voting, adding votes, stuffing with bulletins, their annihilation, etc.

 Observers note that the voting in Russia cannot be qualified as «referendum», for the law of referendums prohibits questions the voters cannot give unambiguous answers. As a matter of fact, the voting was carried out over numerous amendments but with a single opportunity of reply: «Yes» or «No».

According to the Central Election Commission, 78% of Russian citizens voted for amendments while the turnout of voters made up 65%. It was Nenets autonomous district only that denied any amendments:  55,25% of voters said «No».


What is important to notice is that major amendments to the Constitution proved to be broadening of powers of the State Duma, attribution of the status of official state body to the State Council. The point is about the compression of powers of regions and local administrations, further strengthening of «vertical of power» and maximum control. According to a new version of the Constitution, from now on, no return of annexed Crimea and disputed Kuriles is admissible. In spite of the fact that Russian citizens only can only lay claims to top positions (without second citizenship), a ban on property and accounts abroad has not been lifted.

It ought to be noted that the reform was approved by the State Duma, Council of Federation and Constitution Court. Note that formally the voting was of recommendatory character; however, Putin declared that results of voting would specify the legitimacy of amendments. Why?

In so doing, Putin is seeking to get ready for his resignation from the post of President with a paradoxical purpose of delegating authorities without losing power. That’s why it is so important to strengthen authorities of the State and Security Councils for future transfer of power to one of these structures.

It has to be kept in mind that Putin remains to be a guarantor of the current balance of political and economic forces in exchange for establishing an effective social state. However, all amendments to the Constitution give no final answer to the question what model of power is it going to function. This circumstance is explained as being due not only to the text vagueness but Putin’s aspiration to preserve maximum opportunities to survive. Granting this, Putin declines from calling his successor and evades a question on future balloting as President. The factors mentioned above are indicative that he has lost trust in his entourage. Hence, it is solely his own choice to decide when and where he is going to act.

This is not to say that Putin fails to consider emergency situations; just the reverse, an item has been added in an Article under which «President of the Russian Federation who ceased discharging his duties due to the expiration of his office or resignation or inability to discharge his duties for health reasons, has immunity».

We qualified the Russian Constitution voting as the outcome of Vladimir Putin’s rule. What is it as a whole and into which «sub-items» specified?

Putin holds that Constitution amendments are necessary to ensure stability in the country; however, his opponents qualify the voting as coup and criticize Putin for holding the authoritarian power for more than 20 years.

It should be added that western politicians differently assess Putin’s predictability as politician. Some of them admiringly stress his unpredictability and untriviality of his political activity. Others believe him to be quite predictable: his activities are restricted by resources specifying his aggressiveness and aspiration to get his opponents under him. Evil coming from him is as minimal as are political and economic resources of modern Russia.

Putin managed to attach to himself not only a silent part of society but ruling political elite as well: the point is that the forthcoming 2021 elections to the State Duma will, most probably, he held by coronavirus scenario having been tested in the course of the past voting.

But what has to be done with nearly absolute power of Putin where nobody is in position to oppose him? In other words, no one in the country but it is the sovereign to bear nationwide responsibility as insisted upon by Putin’s western «partners».

Of interest is the fact that the electronic system could be used in the course of the voting process (according to «Medusa» news site) to thus supervise turnout of voters from tens of large state-owned companies. In this respect, the West is keeping track of any Putin’s «technologies» to thus make them the property of the public, including the Russian one: a proposal «to get in dialogue directly with the Russian people» has currently been debated. It remains unclear whether re-election of his «sworn friend» D. Trump as US President would help Putin in the matter.

A question is how justified are allegations of western observers and their Russian like-minded people that «Russia has no future but the past». These allegations seem to be justified especially in the post-voting period being qualified as «Putin coup». But another thesis is fair as well: Russia is a record-holder not only in stagnation times but in the number of social-political overturns and omnipotence of the state within the framework of a single century only. It is, perhaps, explained as being due to the lack of vital ideology and forces capable of making it predominant first in the heads of people and then in the state and society?!

P.S. Summing up the results of voting, the Russian President told «Moscow. Kremlin. Putin» TV-channel «Russia-1» that the right of the Republics to withdraw from the USSR proved to be a delayed-action bomb, «so we must avoid actions of this sort». «…we are right in adopting amendments to the current Constitution. These amendments are destined to consolidate our statehood and create favorable conditions for decades-long progressive movement of our country».

Of interest is whether or not a decision will be passed on deprivation of Nenets autonomous district of the status of a subject of the Russian Federation and its transformation into a municipal subject of Arkhangelsk region. If so, they will be in no position to carry out an independent policy in social area and enjoy the state program to support aboriginal minor peoples. Until recently, this program has been successful in taking into account the interests of aboriginal population – Nenets with their traditional mode of life, original culture and language …

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