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The Leader of Crimea Says Russia Should Bring Back Monarchy

Vladimir Putin and Crimean Head Sergei Aksyonov Kremlin Press Service

Just three years into life under the Kremlin, the head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, is fed up with democracy. “When there’s no single authority,” he warned on television this week, “then what you get is collective irresponsibility.”

“Today, in my view, what Russia needs is monarchy,” Aksyonov said.

Crimea’s leader will be disappointed to learn that the Kremlin doesn’t share his views on the advantages of royalty.

Asked on Wednesday about Aksyonov’s televised remarks, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said the president is “unenthusiastic” about discussions to revert Russia to a monarchy, and even complained that the issue has resurfaced repeatedly in the past five years (as the Putin era has advanced into its teenage years, approaching tsar-like longevity).

On Wednesday, the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti published a surprisingly long article about Aksyonov’s comments, highlighting fairly obvious points, like the fact that monarchy contradicts Russia’s democratic constitution.

In March 2014, the Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Moscow says this was a legal absorption of new territory following a popular referendum on self-determination. Most of the world does not recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, though Moscow does exercise de facto control over the territory. Aksyonov has occupied senior positions in Crimea's Russia-backed governments since Russian special forces first seized control in late February 2014.

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