So why am I starting a post with God Save the Tsar, a song not seriously sung in over a century? Because the biggest new idea out of Russia seems to be a revival of the monarchy. Seriously.
It seems to be an effort to keep Putin in power after he finishes his second term as Russia’s president and cannot stay in that office again (or return to it). Revive the monarchy and name Vladimir Putin as Tsar. (He would be Vladimir IV, and the first new Tsar Vladimir since the 12th century.)
It seems there are a few issues to be ironed out. Will the revived Tsar be an autocrat like the previous one or a constitutional monarch like the current Queen Elizabeth II? How will the succession work? Will the position of Tsar be inheritable, and if so, must it pass down the male line or can Tsarinas rule? (Putin only has daughters.) Another possibility is Tsar would be an elective office, but one elected for life. (The game plan there is for the Russian Parliament to elect the Tsar rather than the people.) Don’t laugh. There have been elective kings in history. That is how the Holy Roman Emperors were chosen.
If you are interested in all the ghastly details, here is an article discussing the concept.
As a student of history, I am not quite sure how to feel. I should be appalled or amused. (After all, I once used the handle “No Truce With Kings.”) Yet, face it. Many so-called “presidents,” “premiers,” “first citizens,” and “chairmen” are really kings, emperors, and tsars by other names. Could a real one be worse?
Meanwhile, if you want to brush up on the lyrics, here is a second round of the anthem. This one with words.
Yes, they are in Russian. What did you expect?