Vladimir Putin to Be Called 'Ruler' of Russia Under New Proposal

A pro-Kremlin party is calling for Vladimir Putin to be referred to as Russia's "ruler" rather than as the Russian "president," in order to move away from a job description derived from a foreign language.

The nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) proposed replacing the term "president" with "pravitel," which means "ruler", because the term "president" has not yet taken "root completely" in Russia, state-run news outlet RIA Novosti reported Sunday.

The LDPR said that using the term "president" has " always embarrassed us." The party argued in its proposal that the term was first used at the end of the 18th century in the U.S., and "much later (it) spread throughout the world."

"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," the LDPR said.

The proposal comes more than four months after Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, launching a war that has killed thousands.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin speaks during the Council of Lawmakers at the Tauride Palace, on April 27, 2022, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Getty

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the long-time leader of the LDPR who died in April, proposed many times referring to the president as the "Supreme Ruler" in order to create distance from job titles that stem from foreign languages.

In 2020, the State Duma, the Russian lower house of parliament, rejected a proposal from the LDPR that suggested renaming the post of the head of state as the "supreme ruler."

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

"There are... some very curious proposals among those put forward. For instance, they [LDPR] proposed renaming the position of head of state to 'Supreme leader'," Pavel Krasheninnikov, co-chair of a government commission looking into constitutional changes, told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper in January 2020, as quoted by Reuters.

"Right now all this is at the discussion stage," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at the time. "President Putin has no view on this."

The LDPR also proposed in 2020 formally recognizing Russia's status as a "victorious power" in World War II and recognizing Orthodox Christianity as Russia's main religion.

"Naturally some (of the proposals) will be eliminated, some will be accepted and from this the commission's sought-after result will appear," Peskov said.

The party's latest proposal comes amid reports that in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, a dictionary has been prepared to replace words borrowed from English.

Vladimir Konstantinov, head of the regional parliament, told the Crimea 24 TV channel last month that officials have "prepared very nice dictionaries with a certain sense of humor."

"They contain Russian variants of borrowed words," he said, adding that "the dominance of foreign words is dangerous for our culture and language."

"The time has come to put an end to this (the dominance of foreign words)," Konstantinov added.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Foreign Ministry for comment.