Staunton, April 9 – Petr Gogolyev, former speaker of the Sakha parliament and now head of that republic’s Constitutional Council, says that the war in Ukraine, Western sanctions and the changes in the international order mean that Russia must and will adopt a new constitution that will change many of the basic provisions of the current document.
The self-described Eurasianist and Putin loyalist says the constitution Russia has now even with the 2020 amendments is out of date and must be replaced rather than simply amended to allow for Russia’s coming territorial expansion (yakutiafuture.ru/2022/04/09/petr-gogolev-posle-globalnyx-mirovyx-izmenenij-rossiyu-zhdet-novaya-konstituciya/).
There have been suggestions from other quarters that Putin may want to introduce a new constitution, possibly after the 2024 elections; but this is perhaps the clearest sign that such discussions are intensifying behind the scenes and that they are linked in the thinking of the Putin regime with the need to be ready for the inclusion of new territories in Russia.
There are three disturbing aspects of this. First, it is yet another sign that the Kremlin really is set on the reconquest of much of the former Soviet space and possibly more. Second, it is an indication that the Kremlin plans to dispense with many of the rights that are enshrined in the first and second portions of the current basic law that so far remain at least on. paper.
And third and most worrisome, this process is taking place more or less in secret with only someone like a Sakha lawyer and then only in a publication directed primarily at the Sakha Republic spilling the beans. If others now come forward, protests are likely to follow because a new Putin constitution almost certainly would be vastly less democratic than the current one.