Russia's Constitutional Reform

April 27, 2021

Vladimir Putin, he President of the Russian Federation, has just promulgated the reform of the Constitution, passed by referendum in July 2020. These reforms may allow him to stay in power until 2036 while also imposing a ban on same-sex unions.

The progressive values ​​of a largely secularized West will not be accepted on the banks of the Moskva, as decided by the master of the Kremlin on April 12, 2021.

On that day, Vladimir Putin solemnly signed the reform of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, approved by referendum of 78% of the votes cast on July 1, 2020.

“Faith in God” is no longer “the opiate of the people,” but is now promoted to the rank of a “fundamental value” of the Russian Federation, a foundation on which the law is supposed to be based.

But there is more: henceforth, it has become impossible for two people of the same sex to marry legally because the new version of the Constitution defines marriage as being the result of “the exclusive union between a man and a woman.”

As a reminder, it was with the fall of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917 that homosexuality was first decriminalized in Russia before being again considered a crime under Joseph Stalin. It was not until after the fall of the Soviet Union that it was tolerated again in 1993.

Over the years, campaigns financed by progressive lobbies have multiplied in order to make “marriage for all” a standard practice, just like what has happened in other European countries.

But the signature affixed on April 12 by Vladimir Putin has the effect of silencing the advocates of permissiveness, because in addition to unions between people of the same sex, the adoption of children by homosexuals has also become an offense.

Another modification of a more political flavor grants Vladimir Putin the power to run for two additional terms for the presidency. In other words, the current head of state could remain at the head of the Federation until 2036.

The enacted law also contains new requirements for presidential candidates: they must now be at least 35 years old, have permanently resided in Russia for at least 25 years, and have never had a foreign citizenship nor a permanent residence permit from a state other than Russia. 

The constitutional revision still guarantees lifelong immunity to Russian presidents, even after they have left office.

Finally, for good measure, the Russian Basic Law is now placed above international standards, so, in principle, impervious to the remarks of the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

Let us not imagine, however, that the Kremlin is exempt from experiencing turmoil: the liberal opposition embodied by Alexis Navalny - and supported from abroad - remains a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin, not to mention the growing tension with the United States, especially regarding the Ukrainian question.