Staunton, January 22 – In yet another tone-death action, Vladimir Putin has sent to the Duma a draft bill that will allow senior officials in the Russian government to serve as long as he wants them to rather than be forced to retire at age 70 as current law requires, and he has done this even as young people are joining protests against this looming gerontocracy.
Putin himself is approaching 70 and many of those around him are of the same generation. For them to remain in power without any age limits not only further limits the ability of younger people to rise through the ranks but raises the specter for Russians of the increasingly decrepit Brezhnev regime of half a century ago.
The measure (sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/1099092-7#bh_note) would allow all senior officials to remain in office until 70 and presidential appointees (deputy ministers) to remain for as long as Putin wants them to. Critics say that this represents “a new self-confident step toward gerontocracy in the style of the late USSR” (ehorussia.com/new/node/22616