Putin and Brezhnev: three similarities and five differences


After the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of Russia, among which there was a clause on “zeroing out” the presidential term, the Western press (for example, a publication such as the Financial Times) immediately began to compare the current leader of our country, Vladimir Putin, with the Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Brezhnev - they say , he’s also going to “rule for life”.


In addition, on the basis of a similar, let's say, controversial statement, an attempt is made to draw even deeper parallels regarding the "inability of the current Russian government to implement far-reaching reforms" and, therefore, declare the time that Vladimir Vladimirovich was in the highest state post identical to the "Brezhnev era of stagnation."

Paper is known to endure everything. In the Western media, far more delusional maxims sometimes slip in relation to our country - and nothing. Nevertheless, the question of comparing the two leaders is quite interesting in itself. Well, let's try to figure out independently what Vladimir Putin and Leonid Brezhnev have in common, and what distinguishes them from each other in the most dramatic way. Believe me, some answers to this question will surprise you very much ...

About the similarities


I will make a reservation right away - I do not intend to start our conversation with particulars, such as comparing the number of orders of our heroes or their personal passions regarding relaxation in the lap of nature. Yes, we will definitely note that Vladimir Vladimirovich, fortunately, is deprived of the passion for various awards and high military ranks that embraced in the last period of the reign and life of Leonid Ilyich, but is this really the main thing? Let us first look at similar points in the political careers of Putin and Brezhnev.

1. In his fateful moments ...

We admit - both Vladimir Vladimirovich and Leonid Ilyich were in the role of “first persons” quite unexpectedly for their fellow citizens, and in many ways for themselves. Brezhnev was at the helm of the party and the country after Khrushchev’s removal. Boris Yeltsin “handed over” Russia to Putin, realizing the utter impossibility of continuing to be in power. In both cases, the newly appointed (or newly elected) leaders inherited an extremely difficult legacy. One can argue for a long time who caused the most harm: Khrushchev, who almost ruined the USSR with his wild “reforms” or Yeltsin, who brought Russia to the pen, as they say. Moreover, blood remained on both “predecessors” - the only difference being that Nikita Sergeyevich shot and crushed tanks of his fellow citizens in Novocherkassk and Gori, and Boris Nikolaevich allowed himself the same in Moscow. Another common point - “in the arms” of Putin turned out to be a war in Chechnya, Brezhnev was destined to prevent very similar in nature “separatist” processes on the scale of the “socialist camp” by introducing troops into Czechoslovakia. The devil knows who was harder in this regard. Both managed, however.

2. People in uniform

Someone may be outraged - they say it’s incorrect to compare Brezhnev’s military past and the service of Vladimir Vladimirovich in the KGB, but personally I don’t think so. A man either wore epaulettes - or not, and for those who understand the essence of the matter this says it all. Yes, Leonid Ilyich personally took part in the battles of the Great Patriotic War, for which he has eternal honor and glory. Nevertheless, in his military career he always remained a political worker and did not rise above the post of deputy chief of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy. Putin, as we recall, was the head of the Federal Security Service of Russia, and, let’s say, at a far from the easiest time for the country, that is, he’s grown up in post "No. 1" in his "native" department. Without a doubt, in the future leadership style of both leaders, time spent “in the ranks”, a habit of strict discipline, a coordinate system in which orders are not discussed, but executed, played an important role. Regarding Brezhnev, we, of course, are talking about the “early” period of his reign, when he was an active and tough leader, and not about the time when, with all his regalia and ranks, he was just a sick old man, who actually eliminated himself from the real leadership of the state, and even incapable of exercising it physically.

3. Economy must be...

“Collapse” is the word that can determine the situation in the economy, which has become the starting point for both heroes of our conversation. The bald Kukuruznik brought the Soviet Union to the brink of starvation, in the conditions of which the West had to buy grain for gold and crossed out the vast majority of Stalin's brilliant business plans and undertakings. What Russia has come to under Yeltsin - everyone remembers perfectly - there is no need to repeat. The “Brezhnev stagnation” is now mumbled mainly by the adherents of the “perestroika” who have not come to mind. By the way, this vile term itself was invented by none other than Gorbachev personally, the great, so-so, “reformer”. The "Brezhnev" eighth five-year plan (1966-1970) is called true economists by the name "golden", which marked the rapid rise of the national economy in the USSR. And this despite the fact that in 1967 the “five-day period” familiar to all of us was introduced in the country. An increase in the population of the USSR by 12 million people, an increase in population’s income by one and a half times, more than 160 thousand people who received free (!) Housing is “stagnation” ?! An increase in the gross social product by 350% during the eighth five-year period alone, every second airliner and every third car in the world produced in the USSR is “stagnant” ?! Only those who destroyed it tell about the “poor and hungry” Soviet Union. In the same way, under “Vladimir Putin’s hardships and deprivations”, subjects like to forget the horrors of the 90s with their unemployment, banditry, poverty and other “charms” like to speculate. With both leaders, it has become easier and more satisfying for most people.

And differences


Well, well - we talked about coincidences, now we will discuss the differences. They, of course, are much larger, they are much deeper and more serious than similar points - after all, the leaders we are discussing after all led, by and large, in different countries and at completely different times.

1. Our difficult years ...

Those figures in the West who write that as a result of amendments to the Constitution “the Russians will receive a new Brezhnev,” our history, as usual, knows in the most superficial way. I hasten to upset them: Vladimir Vladimirovich is already at the highest state posts more than the "dear Leonid Ilyich." 20 years against 18. And, as we see, he walks and speaks quite vigorously, has no health problems. As well as making decisions and personal participation in the leadership of the country. The fact is that, unlike Brezhnev, who took the post of First and then General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee at the age of 60, Vladimir Putin became president of Russia at 47. However, of course, this is not the only reason. Brezhnev’s health was extremely negatively affected over the years by both frontal shell shock and his heart attack in 1952. And he led a lifestyle far from being as healthy as our current leader: judo was not fond of, but with the strongest cigarettes "News"And his beloved Zubrovka, he never parted almost to death, despite the strictest ban on the Kremlin’s doctors after his clinical death in 1976. Well, do not forget that medicine, as well as ways to maintain active longevity, have greatly improved since Brezhnev. Let's hope that to his 70th birthday, which is just around the corner, Vladimir Vladimirovich will come in much better physical shape than Leonid Ilyich, who from this age began to take in front of his eyes.

2. Without a party, but with the oligarchs

Comparing Putin’s rule (especially his initial period) and Brezhnev’s times, it would be completely incorrect not to mention the most fundamental difference, perhaps. Leonid Ilyich got a state with a one-party system, the role of "leading and directing" in which no one seriously contested to challenge. Opposition? Mass protests? What are you talking about ?! Moreover, in the country there were virtually no social groups or clans that its leader could seriously fear. Yes, I don’t argue, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU was that terrarium, “undercover” intrigues were laced, the struggle for power was waged, but all this happened, so to speak, “within the framework”. The oligarchs of the early 2000s, who imagined that the whole country was not just their patrimony, but in the most literal sense of the word, were much worse then party and state bonuses. And then, you see, some president ... I don’t want to belittle at all the merits and merits of Leonid Ilyich, but I don’t know if he could have resisted the struggle for real power in the state that Vladimir Vladimirovich had the chance to lead at certain stages of his careers. It’s one thing to manage a country in which, in fact, there is the Pravda newspaper, the Vremya program and somewhere underground, samizdat coupled with “enemy voices” muffled to the limit in the form of Western radio stations. And it’s completely different to lead the age of the Internet, with the help of which, as experience shows, “specially trained people” are able to rock the situation to riots and a coup d'etat.

3. The Cold War and the offensive on Russia

It is difficult to say which of the two leaders has become a big disappointment for the West. There, Brezhnev was perceived as a successful alternative to the aggressive moron Khrushchev, who was banging his boot on the UN rostrum and promising to “show Kuzkin’s mother”, or else he was organizing very real crises, like the Caribbean and Berlin, threatening to develop into a thermonuclear world war. Leonid Ilyich was much more peaceful, he even signed agreements on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons and the non-use of nuclear weapons. Relations between the USSR and the West under it improved significantly, and not at the cost of surrendering national interests. However, in the end, after everything went to dust, Reagan declared the Soviet Union “an evil empire” and sanctions rained down on our country, which is typical, mainly aimed at disrupting pipeline construction projects in Europe. Nothing changes ... From Putin, on the contrary - they expected the continuation of the external policy his predecessor, ready to give the country "for a glass of praise" of the West. What is he ?! Either the Munich Speech, the Crimean Spring, and then the promise to embed "at decision centers" with a substantive demonstration of exactly what they will beat. The difference here is that Brezhnev was a Soviet leader and did not expect surrender from him, even during the Cold War. But Vladimir Vladimirovich “mixed up the cards” to our “dear partners”, accustomed to seeing in Russia a submissive performer of their will, and in the most unceremonious way. That is why the West today disputes not just Russia's right to an independent foreign and domestic policy, but, in fact, to exist as a sovereign state. And Putin is perceived there as a much more serious adversary than Brezhnev. They see in him not just an opponent - the enemy.

4. In war, as in war

Despite the fact that Leonid Ilyich advocated "world peace", the development of the Soviet military-industrial complex was in full swing in his days and he did not hesitate to use force outside the USSR - even if he did it extremely rarely. The most serious military conflict in which the Soviet Union had a chance to participate in the Brezhnev era was Afghanistan. It began during the life of Leonid Ilyich in 1979, and ended after he was gone. A direct analogue for comparison here may be the company of the Russian army in Syria - this is where for the first time since leaving Afghanistan our troops have been performing an international duty. The difference, you see, is colossal, and in everything. What is the timing of the campaign, what is the achieved results, what (and this, in my opinion, is the most important) on the scale of losses suffered by our soldiers. Alas, there are no wars without the dead. As, incidentally, there are no great powers that do not lead them away from their own territory - in the order of observing allied treaties and pursuing their geopolitical interests. Nevertheless, the main mistakes and miscalculations made by the military and political leadership of the USSR in Afghanistan, Russia under Putin managed to avoid. At least for now…

5. And something about the main

To begin with, there is one more coincidence: Brezhnev and Putin are the only two leaders in whom Olympic sports were held on our land. And both times this momentous event was overshadowed by the political dirty tricks of the West. However, in 1980, everything was limited to a boycott from the United States and its satellites, and now a course has been taken to “knock” Russia out of the Olympic movement almost forever. And this is the fundamental difference - Brezhnev led the country, spread out on 1/6 of the earth’s firmament, the USSR relied on the support of any, and allies in the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. The West simply had to reckon with all this, "playing for a long time," and pursue a policy aimed at weakening and destroying the Soviet Union gradually, so that it was crowned with success almost a decade after the death of Leonid Ilyich. Today, other rates, different rates, other goals. In the West, they are once again climbing into our internal affairs, trying to blame our leader and impose advice on us. In particular, they call for “far-reaching reforms necessary to transform the economy”, which turns out to be “based on oil, gas and raw materials” (although recent events related to the “oil war” have shown that this is far from the case). They are trying to declare Vladimir Putin “new Brezhnev” there, not realizing that they are giving him a fair compliment - if in 2006, according to opinion polls, less than 30% of Russians expressed a positive attitude towards Leonid Ilyich and his time, and in 2017 already 47%

I bring this data not at all to the fact that the time of the reign of Vladimir Putin, we may still recall, as the "golden age". Quite the contrary — with all the success of the Brezhnev era, the country accumulated in its years the potential subsequently missed, squandered, derailed. I would very much like that the main difference from the historical period of “Putin's time”, no matter how long it lasts, is that these years will not be the last stop before the state’s movement to a standstill, but a stage on Russia's path to new achievements and victories.
Used photos: http://kremlin.ru/
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13 comments
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  1. ImPerts Offline
    ImPerts (Igor) 11 July 2020 10: 22
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    Firstly, the times of stagnation are now beginning to be perceived as a legendary time of calm and tranquility. These are already bygone days when there were no poor, hungry, homeless people. By the way, our life expectancy is only now approaching stagnant times. Secondly, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev in 1976-1977 was a normal, adequate leader. Thirdly, look at our potential partners, Trump is still holding on, and Biden is behaving like Leonid Ilyich after the Olympics in Moscow.
  2. steelmaker Offline
    steelmaker 11 July 2020 10: 56
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    Compare Putin and Brezhnev? Why not with Stalin? If you really do frivolous things, don’t be shy! It’s necessary to somehow cling to the great! Brezhnev did not sell his homeland. If anything was sold (exported), then everything went to the welfare of the state and people.

    An increase in the population of the USSR by 12 million people, an increase in population’s income by one and a half times, more than 160 thousand people who received free (!) Housing is “stagnation” ?! An increase in the gross social product only for the years of the eighth five-year plan by 350%, every second airliner and every third car in the world produced in the USSR

    To fill the shelves, you just had to raise prices! After all, the bazaar was all year round !! Conscience. That's what Putin doesn't have! The minimum wage under Brezhnev was 70 rubles a month. Kommunalka 6-8rub, a loaf of bread 12-15 kopecks. Electricity - 2 kopecks. Airplane, train, gasoline - it was possible to continue indefinitely. You just had to raise prices and fill the store shelves. Conscience did not allow the people to rob. Putin - the minimum salary is 11300 rubles a month. Putin’s entourage receives million rubles a day! In a day!!!!!!! And he looks into the eyes of the people of 20 years and smiles. The 90s haven’t gone anywhere. They just don’t delay their salaries for 4-6 months, but pay monthly so that they don’t die of hunger. Bandits and crooks moved to the seats of housing and communal services, deputies, LLC and AOO, security companies, etc. Therefore, the 90s can begin even tomorrow, just a finger click. Robbery continues. There is no Stalin on YOU !!!
    1. 321 Offline
      321 (321) 11 July 2020 11: 59
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      Quote: steel maker
      ... The minimum wage under Brezhnev was 70 rubles a month. Kommunalka 6-8rub, a loaf of bread 12-15 kopecks. ... Putin - the minimum wage 11300rub.mes ....

      Do you think that you were the only one to find those times? You guessed the figurines, and about the minimalists - TEACH THE MATCH, that under Brezhnev, that under Putin - my grandmother did NOT get 70, and now I’m using another wage - change the training manual, I’m tired of my uniformity ... negative bully
  3. Brezhnev is the best ruler of Russia of all time! Kingdom of heaven to you, dear Leonid Ilyich!
  4. Nikolay Malyugin (Nikolai Malyugin) 11 July 2020 12: 23
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    I will not give an assessment to each of these leaders, because they serve opposite interests. No matter how good a leader is in the cap. society, he will always serve the ruling elite. The very role of the Soviet Army was connected with the people. We did not delve into the details of weapons. But they firmly believed that the Army would protect us. The Armament of Foreign Armies magazine was intended only for officers. We could work calmly, without any military hysteria. And hysteria has a flip side - panic. And this was shown by the case of coronavirus. I think that this infection would be perceived differently in the USSR.
  5. steelmaker Offline
    steelmaker 11 July 2020 14: 40
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    change the training manual, already tired of its monotony ...

    And you don’t have monotony - just rudeness. For arguments, education is needed.
    "What a pop, such a parish."
    1. 321 Offline
      321 (321) 11 July 2020 15: 09
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      Quote: steel maker
      ..change the training manual, already tired of my uniformity ...

      And you don’t have monotony - just rudeness. For arguments, education is needed.

      "What a pop, such a parish."

      And then the pop, you yourself realize, maybe - in essence there are objections - what about Brezhnev, what about the minimum wage under Putin? How much is the minimum wage now and from what date - you will find yourself on the internet, not small, at least you will learn something ... bully
      And whoever would write about rudeness here, and about education as well - take out a log first from your eye .... negative hi
  6. Oleg Rambover Offline
    Oleg Rambover (Oleg Rambover) 12 July 2020 01: 34
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    Those figures in the West who write that as a result of amendments to the Constitution “the Russians will receive a new Brezhnev,” our history, as usual, knows in the most superficial way.

    Well, dear Neukropny is also not very strong in history.

    “Collapse” is the word that can determine the situation in the economy, which has become the starting point for both heroes of our conversation. The bald Kukuruznik brought the Soviet Union to the brink of starvation, in the conditions of which the West had to buy grain for gold and crossed out the vast majority of Stalin's brilliant business plans and undertakings.

    Again a lie. Brezhnev got the superpower, which became such under Khrushchev. Such rates of economic growth, as under Khrushchev, have never been in the USSR. And, unlike his predecessor, Khrushchev did not pay for this growth with the lives of millions of his fellow citizens. And about the famine, Khrushchev became the first ruler in the history of Russia, in which there was no famine. I don’t know how he put the country on the brink of hunger, but his predecessor crossed this line more than once.

    Yes, I don’t argue, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU was that terrarium, “undercover” intrigues were laced, the struggle for power was waged, but all this happened, so to speak, “within the framework”. The oligarchs of the early 2000s, who imagined that the whole country was not just their patrimony, but in the most literal sense of the word, were much worse then party and state bonuses.

    All political opponents of Stalin were killed. There are persistent rumors that Stalin himself was the victim of a conspiracy of his associates. Khrushchev came to power in an uncompromising struggle with the victims. He himself was ousted during the coup. Even the nineties against this background seem quite herbivorous.

    On the contrary, Putin was expected to continue the foreign policy of his predecessor, who was ready to give the country “for a glass of praise” of the West. What is he ?!

    Well, at the beginning of his reign, he dreamed of joining NATO and a united Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
    1. magma Offline
      magma (Tatyana) 12 July 2020 07: 35
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      Again a lie. Brezhnev got the superpower, which became such under Khrushchev. Such rates of economic growth as under Khrushchev in the USSR have never been. And, unlike his predecessor, Khrushchev did not pay for this growth with the lives of millions of his fellow citizens. And about the famine, Khrushchev became the first ruler in the history of Russia, in which there was no famine.

      You are either completely off topic or deliberately distort. I am inclined to the second option because I don’t believe in that so much about the history of my country ...
      1. Oleg Rambover Offline
        Oleg Rambover (Oleg Rambover) 12 July 2020 10: 28
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        Very often for people, history is a collection of myths. Which of your myths diverges my "distortion"?
  7. Gennady1959 Offline
    Gennady1959 (Gennady) 12 July 2020 10: 36
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    Putin headed the FSB -

    - on this post he worked only a few months. This was another step in the chain of posts, in which the administrative-oligarchic group dragged him like a doll for 4 years to push him to the top post. Who remembers some of Putin’s accomplishments at these posts?
    There is only one similarity - Putin is on the way to senile senility, and this is very sad for Russia. It is a pity that he does not understand this. His "re-election" in 2024 and 2030. only oligarchs need to consolidate their power over property stolen from the people.
    Difference. Brezhnev, as an officer, has no complaints. But Putin, as an officer of the KGB of the USSR, violated the oath and went over to the camp of the enemies of the USSR (Sobchaks, etc.) They fed fatter there.
  8. LeftPers Offline
    LeftPers (Anton) 17 July 2020 17: 33
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    Children's camps - free, clubs, clubs for children - free, sports sections - free, medicine - free, work - please, institute - free, pension - decent and in due years. Capitalism is shit.
  9. Yuri Strukov Offline
    Yuri Strukov (Yuri Strukov) 22 July 2020 00: 09
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    Putin is corrupted by the power. Brezhnev was a participant in the Victory Day parade in 1945. And there who didn’t walk. Putin is speculating on this date, feigning patriotism with his entourage.
    Yes, in recent years they laughed at Brezhnev, but with this guarantor it is no longer laughing. Comparing them is a waste of time. But Brezhnev did not have such rejection as for Putin.