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“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia.
While there are no plans to crown a new Emperor and Sovereign of All the Russias, as part of the royal title once went, the idea raises the possibility Mr. Putin could stay beyond the two-term limit the constitution allows.
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The Kremlin has given little sign of who may succeed Mr. Putin when his six-year term ends in 2024, leaving many to speculate, sometimes wildly, about what’s next.
Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.
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Over tea and biscuits at the conference last month, members of the Double-Headed Eagle, a group dedicated to restoring the Russian monarchy, discussed the finer points.
“Monarchy is only about blood by definition,” said Yevgeniy Nikofoforov, general director of a radio station dedicated to the Russian Orthodox Church. “No, absolutely not,” shot back Andrey Afanasiev, a presenter at Mr. Malofeyev’s internet channel Tsargrad.
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“What has Russia done in the last 30 years; it’s resurrected an empire and chosen an emperor,” said Mr. Afanasiev, adding that Mr. Putin’s lack of a noble birth wasn’t a problem.
Serge Kapnist was born and raised in France, but claims the title of count in Russia...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WSJ
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