All signs point to Putin not caring a whit what the people of Russia may want. Roses or thorns, Putin plans to stay in power as long as Brezhnev did — that is, as long as he is able to live. The fact that the country may, as it did after Brezhnev, spiral into collapse means nothing to Putin.

If Brezhnev had communism to fall back on, Putin has the Russian Orthodox Church: it bears just as terrifying an ideology. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who oversees the Church’s public relations, told RIA Novosti recently:

Even some scientists suggest that the sun and the entire universe rotate around Earth, not in a physical sense, but in a logical sense. According to Chaplin, this theory means that the world is created so that intelligent life inhabits space that is proportionally small compared to the size of the universe.

Not one to be outdone, Patriarch Kirill, the Russian pope, chimed in:

I find very dangerous this phenomenon, which is called feminism, because feminist organizations proclaim a pseudo-freedom of women that should in the first place be manifested outside marriage and outside the family. Man turns his sight outward, he should work, make money. While a woman is always focused inwards towards her children, her home. If this exceptionally important role of a woman is destroyed, everything will be destroyed as a consequence — family and, if you wish, the homeland.

If God is with Putin, who can be against him?