According to Wikipedia, “this limitation has since been overhauled in large part due to the constitutional amendments that were ratified in 2020. One of the amendments passed reset the terms of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, allowing either to serve as president for a full two terms regardless of their previous terms.”

What were the stated, or understood, rationales for so amending the Russian constitution?

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    Officially or unofficially? Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 16:10
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    Since when do autocrats need a rationale?
    – jcaron
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 21:49
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    This was extensively covered in Putin by P. Short. Although I can't recall the exact changes being pushed through - easy to look up - the author says 2 things: a) other changes, while extensive, didn't seem all that clear in their motivation (for Putin). They did not "come out of the blue". b) What did come out of the blue is that a senior female politician, Hero of the USSR kinda profile, proposed, out of the blue, that since such extensive changes were happening, it was only fair that the post of President was not the same... Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 1:26
  • .... post-reform, as before. So, by her - no doubt entirely spontaneous - proposal, the Presidency was really a different position and needed a reset on the term count (which were still term-limited to 2, no Const. changes, remember the Medvedev interlude). Acclaimed on the spot, passed, and now it was clear why the other changes had been put forward. I don't own the book, it was a library read, so can't really answer wo it, but yes, looked very fishy from that presentation. Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 1:30
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    I think an important variant of this question is "why even keep the term limits with a reset instead of just removing them altogether?"
    – Bobson
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


These amendements of constitution came out of blue. Nobody wanted them or asked for them prior to the fact.

Putin's United Russia party had a constitutional majority after then-latest change to election procedures, so they did not have to ask anybody to change constitution. However, some weird, non-binding referendum was also held on the changes. What did not help the fact is that the voting had to take place at the height of COVID-19 epidemic.

When it was all done, the reset of presedential terms was announced as a private opinion of some parliament member(?). It does seem that it was the primary reason for the spectacle in the first place, though I believe it is also non-binding.

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    It's "not binding" only in the sense that the incumbent doesn't have to go to the next term. Legally, the Constitutional Court waved him through. (The same Court, with the same chairman, that barred Yeltsin from resetting his terms after the Constitution actually and entirely changed in 1993!)
    – Zeus
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 1:25

here is Putin's comment. He said: "we need to work rhythmically. We can't afford losing time looking for new people. Since everybody already knows each other and creating new connections will take to much time". It's like you MUST change your wife and kids every 6 years. Doesn't make any sense actually, if you don't want to. And that's the only thing that matters.

Basically everybody seems to be happy about it. So we can't really blame Putin, or Valentina Tereshkova, the cosmonaut, who proposed to reset his term. So he can enjoy more time in the chair. Unfortunately they also reset Medvedev's terms, who was unpopular, but he's unlikely to run for anything in the near future.

Russians are motivated to avoid crisis. Besides, they didnt like the constitution of 1993. Why people had to live in a democracy out of the blue. Nobody even explained to them that "it's the only way to go", when they were young enough to think critically, maybe in kindergarten! Indeed the adults didn't want any of this. And their feelings? Are they any less valid than feelings of American patriots? Do people who defend democratic values even realize how arbitrary those values are?

Presumably nobody likes the old president after 4, maximum 8 years. Half of them didn't like him to begin with. And the elections were only an excuse to raise money and insult other candidate for a show. Two favorite pastimes. Then they begin to come up with more shows. "Who wants war in Russia vs war in China? Which country do we have to take down next? And we all need to raise money for it!"

You can sell this only to those who have to buy it. But not to anyone else! How authoritarian is that.

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