The Russian nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) prefers to see President Vladimir Putin called a “leader”, Newsweek reported on Monday.
“In our country, by historical standards, [president] is usually a new word, and until it takes root completely, you can safely replace it,” Newsweek reported the LDPR saying in a statement to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “For example, with the expression ‘head of state’ or the word ‘sovereign’. Both are more understandable to the Russian ear.”
Although the official proposal to the Russian parliament is recent, the idea of calling Putin a “leader” is not new.
Reuters reported a similar story in January 2020, where that same party said Putin should be called “supreme leader” to keep with that nation’s language, instead of using a “Western” term for president.
“There are (…) very curious proposals among those that have been put forward. For example, they proposed to rename the post of head of state to ‘supreme leader'”, said Pavel Krasheninnikov, co-chairman of the government commission, to the government newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta. at the time.
According to the report, Putin had no opinion on the change, which won the support of the lower house of parliament at that time.
Indian TV in New Delhi reported on Monday that Putin was still neutral on the idea, but party officials said the country “felt embarrassed” to use such a “Western” term that has no connection to the traditional Russian language.
“At the moment, this is all at the discussion stage,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the outlet, adding, “President Putin has no opinion on this.”
The head of the regional parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, told NDTV that the use of Western terms and words is detrimental to the traditions of Russia and should be stopped.
“The domination of foreign words is dangerous for our culture and our language,” he said in the NDTV report. “Now is the time to put an end to this.”
According to the Newsweek report, the term “president” has only been used in Russia since it was created by the United States in the late 18e century.
According to party officials, a better term, “pravitel”, which means “sovereign”, would be a better replacement.
The outlet also reported that new “very cool dictionaries with a certain sense of humor” have been created in Crimea since Ukraine was annexed by Russia in 2014.
“They contain Russian variants of loanwords,” he said in Newsweek’s report, adding that “the dominance of foreign words is dangerous for our culture and our language.”
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