Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on Tuesday proposed resetting presidential terms to zero after a wide-ranging package of constitutional amendments is passed, a move that would effectively allow Vladimir Putin to remain president until 2036.
In a surprise visit to the Duma shortly after, Putin said he would support the amendment on one condition: the approval of Russia’s Constitutional Court — a body under the president’s control. If the court gives its blessing to the amendment and it is backed in a nationwide vote, the 67-year-old Putin could serve two more back-to-back six-year terms, making him the longest-serving leader of Russia since the 16th century.
Hours after Putin’s speech in the Duma, Moscow announced that it will ban all events larger than 5,000 people to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Critics accused officials of using the virus as an excuse to prevent protests against the amendment.
In times like these, what else can Russians do but make memes?
Here’s a look at some of our favorites:
It is what it is.
“Vladimir Putin in the State Duma at the discussion of the amendment to reset his presidential terms. Oil on canvas, 2020.”
*"Curb Your Enthusiasm" theme intensifies*
“Little-known fact: There's not a single cat in Russia right now who wasn't born under Putin.”
- "I’m against resetting the terms."
- "Only if the Constitutional Court allows it."
- "We allow it, we allow it."
- "Well, OK then.”
In which Putin betrays parliamentarism and the State Council to sneak a peek at resetting his terms.
"Volodya, are you sleeping?"
"It's already 6:00 in the morning, Volodya."
"Wake up, we're already resetting them all."
"Third and fourth term."
"We're resetting all of them, Volodya, honestly."