Support The Moscow Times!

Putin’s Infinite Rule Sparks Infinite Memes

Darth Vader answers to no one — except... Pikabu.ru

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."

"First term."

"Second term."

"Wake up, we're already resetting them all."

"Third and fourth term."

"We're resetting all of them, Volodya, honestly."

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.