05/11/2024, 08.56
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The Eternal Reign of the Victorious Tsar

by Stefano Caprio

On several occasions, Putin said that he had no intention of staying in power for life, but the matter was shelved long ago. During the latest presidential inauguration, Patriarch Kirill invoked upon him God's blessing “until the end of your existence and until the end of time, as we say.”

The Patriarch of Moscow Kirill (Gundyayev) hailed President Vladimir Putin during his inauguration-coronation to yet another presidential term, which coincidentally fell close to the anniversary of the Victory over all enemies, wishing him to stay in power until the end of times (до скончания века, do skonchaniya veka), words from the liturgy like the Latin in saecula saeculorum.

Perhaps the patriarch simply meant a “life term” for the tsar-president, who has exalted the solemnity of autocracy with carpets and Kremlin fanfares as never before; however, the excessive zeal was so plain to see that the patriarchate's press service removed the sentence from the communiqué that reported the patriarch's address.

The undying blessing resounded on the evening of 7 May in the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Kremlin, the tsars’ private chapel in front of whose altar stand the splendid series of sacred images of the greatest iconographers in Russian history, Theophanes the Greek and Andrei Rublev, where the president attended the Moleben (молебенъ), the litany of the patriarch's good wishes.

Kirill's prayer called on the whole heavenly host, that “the blessing of God, the protection of the Queen of Heaven be with you until the end of your existence and until the end of time, as we say, and I will boldly add that, God willing, the end of the century also means the end of your stay in power, for you have everything you need to successfully carry out your service to the Motherland for a long time.”

In the communiqué released by the press service, the sentence was reduced to the "end of existence" of the president, while the eschatological-presidential prophecy was also removed from the Moleben video on YouTube.

In any case, Kirill addressed the president with the title of “your eminence” (ваше превосходство, vashe prevoskhodstvo) as is customary with members of the royal family, praising “the great mercy of God that the head of the Russian state is an Orthodox man, who is not ashamed of his faith.”

According to the patriarch, many Russians see Putin as "a kind, intelligent, and warm-hearted person", and yet, he urged him "not only to be good, but also strict, since the head of state sometimes has to make fateful and formidable (грозные, groznye) decisions", which might be translated as "sensational" or rather "threatening", reiterating the analogy between Putin and Ivan the terrible (Иван Грозный, Ivan Groznyy) or indeed the "threatening".

He added that “if they (decisions) are not made, the consequences can be extremely dangerous for the people and for the state. But these decisions always involve victims”.

In addition to the reference to the first 16th century tsar, the patriarch’s address mentioned the heroic deeds of Prince Alexander Nevsky, who "did not spare his enemies” and “became famous as a saint", without any direct reference to the war in Ukraine.

At this point, according to the new constitutional rules approved in a decidedly "unorthodox" way in 2020, Putin will be able to rule Russia until 2036, when he will turn 84, if another election is held in 2030.

Most rulers in Russian history, princes, tsars, or party secretaries, remained in the saddle until the end of their existence, except for the last emperor, martyr Nicholas II, and general secretary Nikita Khrushchev, who was ousted by Brezhnev and his comrades to restore the Stalinist order.

The end of the USSR and the post-Soviet era saw the fateful governments of Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991) and Boris Yeltsin (1992-1999), not to mention the "transitional" presidency of Dmitry Medvedev in 2008-2012, when Putin still ruled as prime minister, thus imitating Tsar Ivan the Terrible who "appointed" other people when he retired to his possessions near Moscow.

Putin repeatedly stated in the past that he had no intention of staying in power for life, but this issue has long since been shelved.

In fact, the notion of eternity has allowed the Russian president to feel totally in control of history, so much so that the first Ukaz he signed after his coronation was indeed "On the right determination and transmission of history", reducing every expression of historical science to pure propaganda.

In all of the country’s schools, the images of the holy princes and the Orthodox tsars must be inculcated starting in kindergartens, even in the fairy tales parents tell their babies to put them to sleep, without neglecting “Soviet heroism” so often dismissed by Western barbarians, who do not want to give Stalin and Marshal Zhukov all the credit for freeing the world from Hitler’s Nazism.

This is in fact the great motivation for Victory Day on 9 May, to remember the armies that reached into the heart of Berlin a day after the Germans signed their capitulation to the Allies, without waiting for Russia’s triumph; for this reason, in the rest of Europe, 8 May is remembered, except in Italy, which marks its “liberation” on 25 April.

In the rest of Europe and the world, this is certainly not a time for military parades in the streets, but rather one to light a candle to remember the millions of fallen, as the "loyal" subjects of Central Asia did this year, whose presidents stood around Putin and his generals looking at the tanks, while cancelling the grotesque parades in their own capitals.

On the stage in front of the Lenin's mausoleum, alongside or behind Asian leaders, one could see the faces of some of the most monstrous protagonists of the attacks on Ukraine, that of General Vladislav Volodin for example, who stood next to Putin along with the young president of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdymukhamedov, "guest of honour”, his first time in Red Square.

Volodin was the commander who stormed Mariupol in March 2022, setting the record for the highest number of civilian casualties, followed by the triumphant Chechen commander Ramil Ibdatullin, who incited his soldiers to mark victory by raping women, setting a good example by personally raping a pregnant girl, who then lost her baby.

The day after the parade of horrors, the supreme leader made a gesture to show Russia's "democratic superiority" over the entire world. He put before the Duma Mikhail Mishustin as his candidate for prime minister, already in office since January 2020, the year of the new eschatological constitution that gave lawmakers the power to approve the cabinet.

Before that, the president picked the head of government. Today the sovereign addresses the "representatives of the people", because this is how "Orthodox democracy" works: all for one and one for all, in a mystical communion to defend the people from the deviations of minorities, which would drag Holy Russia into dependence on dark powers like in the derelict West.

The new-old government will first have to deal with the implementation of the president’s May Decrees (Майские указы, Mayskiye ukazy), starting with the broad distribution of the correct version of history.

As per tradition, these proclamations on the most solemn day indicate "the national goals of the development of the Russian Federation", in this case "for the period until 2030 and on a broader perspective, until 2036".

The Kremlin's godfather promises to raise the minimum wage in Russia from 20,000 to 35,000 rubles (around US$ 380), as well as ensure that by 2030 Russia will rank at least fourth in the world in terms of gross domestic product.

He also announced that Russians will not only get richer, but will also live longer, raising the average age to 78 by 2026 and 81 by 2036.

Young people must therefore be grateful for the bright future that awaits them, and show it by "taking an ever more active interest in social and voluntary initiatives", naturally seasoning everything with an increasingly thick patriotic sauce dished out in thousands of initiatives in support of the Motherland.

After all, everyone will also be rewarded with bigger homes, from 33 square metres in 2030 to 38 square metres in 2036, a promise Putin has been making since 2007 without a square inch being added.

The empty rhetoric of the May Decrees echoes the bombastic five-year plans of Soviet memory, with seven main goals and 84 projects to be implemented, plus six major indicators for the new cabinet, including the inclusion of Russia “among the 25 most advanced countries in the world in robotisation and the correct use of artificial intelligence", praising its "technological leadership" and its final abolition of poverty.

For these providential plans, it is not necessary to set a date since they are now placed in the trust of the kingdom of eternity.


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Virtual May Day celebrated in Moscow
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The feast of national unity and Our Lady of Kazan
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