President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin submitted for consideration by the State Duma of the Russian Federation amendments to the country's main law - its Constitution. Their content has already become a subject of discussion in Russian society.
The document presented on 24 pages contains a number of amendments, conservatively sustained and capable of having a significant impact on the further development of the country's domestic and foreign policy. First, the president proposed an amendment to introduce into the Constitution of the Russian Federation a provision on the state-forming role of the Russian people. Thus, it will be emphasized at the constitutional level that Russia is primarily a state of the Russian people.
Secondly, despite the secular nature of the Russian state, the president proposed introducing the concept of “God” into the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Russian Federation united by a millennium history, preserving the memory of the ancestors who transmitted to us the ideals and faith in God, as well as the continuity in the development of the Russian state, recognizes the historically established state unity,
- appears in the presidential amendment.
The initiative to mention God in the Constitution of the Russian Federation comes from Patriarch Kirill. As far back as February 2020, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church called for prayer to mention in the Russian fundamental law “such an exalted idea as what is faith in God.”
Thirdly, the Constitution of the Russian Federation proposes to consolidate the definition of a family as a union of a man and a woman. Obviously, this measure was required against the background of the ongoing wave of legalization of same-sex marriage in the world. Emphasizing in the Constitution that only a man and a woman can create a family, the president, therefore, proposes to deprive the supporters of same-sex marriages of the possibility of giving this form of relations the official status of the family, at least without changing the basic law of the country.
It is also proposed in the Constitution to consolidate the succession of the Russian Federation with respect to the Soviet Union on its territory, as well as in international obligations and treaties, and membership in international organizations.
Another item is proposed - on the veneration of the memory of the defenders of the Fatherland and the inadmissibility of a revision of their exploit. Prior to this, the Duma committee had already approved amendments to prohibit any alienation of territories that are part of Russia, as well as calls for alienation of territories.
Thus, the amendments of Vladimir Putin are clearly conservative, traditionalist in nature. The President intends to consolidate around himself supporters of traditional values for which concepts such as the Russian people or family are sacred. But behind the amendments on the state-forming role of the Russian people or on the family as the union of a man and a woman, one can not notice a number of no less significant amendments that can fundamentally change the entire existing system of power.
So, in the Constitution of the Russian Federation the existence of the State Council, formed by the president of the country, can be fixed. It is also prescribed that the president will exercise overall leadership of the country, which in fact turns him into the head of the executive branch of Russia.
No less interesting is the proposal to include in the Constitution a provision on the inviolability of the former president of the Russian Federation. Although immunity was confirmed legally at the very beginning of the reign of Vladimir Putin, which was perceived by many as a desire to protect the then living Boris Yeltsin from possible criminal prosecution, now the immunity of ex-presidents will be included in the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
It should be noted that the presidential amendments have already met with mixed reactions in Russian society, which is not surprising, given its very complex ethnic, religious structure, the polar political views of our fellow citizens and many other factors. So, the chairman of the Russian Muftis Council, Ravil Gainutdin, drew attention to the fact that one should not deviate from the wording about the multinational people of Russia, and also emphasized that the concept of “God” is perceived differently by different faiths: Jews, for example, prohibit mentioning his name in vain, and to Buddhists the idea of a creator God is generally alien.
For many proponents of secular values, amendments such as the mention of God can be seen as attempts to archaize the country's fundamental law with all the ensuing consequences. However, among the main part of the population, the attitude towards a possible change in the Constitution of the Russian Federation is rather passive-calm: there are neither pronounced enthusiasm nor manifestations of discontent.
In any case, the Russians will be able to express their attitude to the amendments to the Constitution by voting on April 22, 2020 for or against the amendments. If more than 50% of those who came to the referendum support the amendments, they will be adopted.