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Russian Parliament to Hold Extraordinary Session

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Russian lawmakers attend a session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia July 5, 2022. | Image by Russian State Duma/REUTERS

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The Russian parliament’s lower chamber will meet in an emergency session on Friday following a decision made by its council on Monday, only days after President Vladimir Putin warned that the conflict in Ukraine had not yet reached its peak.

During a meeting with legislative leaders on Thursday, Putin dared the U.S. and its allies to defeat Russia in Ukraine, which Russia invaded on February 24. All of the parliamentary leaders praised Putin’s decisions.

Controlled by a party that backs Putin, the Russian parliament said it could make some revisions to competition and information policy.

The leader of the 325-seat United Russia party, Vladimir Vasilyev, announced that the 450-seat parliament would address more than 60 items during the session.

“It is necessary that the processes going on now receive a legal response,” Vasilyev said. “So the council discussed the agenda for the 15th: we plan to consider a little more than 60 issues.”

He did not say what the problems were. The Communist Party, the second-largest political party in Russia after United Russia, said that more than 80 draft laws would be discussed.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Duma, informed Vladimir Putin at their meeting on Thursday that the Russian parliament will assist two self-declared breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine that get support from Russia in developing their legal systems.

Putin claims that Moscow had to safeguard Russian-speaking people from persecution, a need for the “special military operation” in Ukraine, which he claims the West has disregarded.

Putin has framed the conflict as one between Russia and the United States, which, in his view, has threatened Russia with Ukraine and humiliated it by spreading NATO to the east after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The U.S. has repeatedly emphasized that it does not want to fight Russia. In March, President U.S. Joe Biden stated that Putin could not remain in office. The White House later clarified that this did not imply that Washington was trying to overthrow the Russian government.

Also from the Russian parliament, a pro-Kremlin party is demanding that Putin be referred to as Russia’s “ruler” rather than the Russian “president” to get away from a title borrowed from a foreign language.

According to state-run news agency RIA Novosti, the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) suggested substituting the word “president” with the word “pravitel,” which means “ruler,” because the word president has not yet “taken root completely” in Russia.

The term “president” has “always embarrassed us,” the LDPR claimed.

The party said in their proposal that the expression was first used in the U.S. around the end of the 18th century and that “much later [it] spread around the world.”

“In our country, by historical standards, this is generally a new word, and until it takes root completely, you can safely replace it. For example, with the phrase ‘head of state’ or the word ‘ruler.’ Both are more understandable to the Russian ear,” the LDPR said.

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