Devoted to Putin: Volodin's Views on Russia, the West and the Rest

January 27, 2023
RM Staff

When it comes to Russian officials singing the praises of Vladimir Putin, current speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin may not be the loudest or most frequent, but he is definitely the most blunt in explaining to Russians why they should be grateful for Putin’s rule. “If there is Putin, there is Russia. If there is no Putin, there is no Russia,” Russia’s then-deputy premier asserted in 2014. Putin quickly and publicly rejected this masterpiece of reductionist flattery, but Volodin has insisted on repeating it on several occasions since. Whether or not accolades for Russia’s autocratic leader have helped Volodin remain near the top of federal power despite several reshuffles ordered by Putin since returning to the Kremlin in 2012, we do not know. What we do know is that Volodin’s name often comes up when Russian officials and experts publicly short-list Putin’s potential successors. While Volodin—whose defining trait as a potential successor in Putin’s eyes has been described as “unlimited devotion” to the Russian president—is usually not the top pick, he may nevertheless have a shot at the Kremlin if Putin decides to depart when his current terms ends in 2024 or otherwise.

Volodin served as deputy chairman of the State Duma from 2000 to 2010. In 2010, he was appointed deputy chairman of the government - head of the office of the government, and in 2012 became the first deputy chief of staff of the presidential administration of Russia. In October 2016, he assumed his current position as the chairman of the State Duma. That makes him the fourth highest-ranking official in Russia, but it is unlikely that this outspoken Duma speaker is among the circle of people Putin consults on key aspects of Russia’s external policies.  Had Volodin been part of that small circle, he would have probably been informed of Russia’s forthcoming invasion of Ukraine. That he was in the dark about the invasion plans (or was instructed to mislead the public on that issue) follows from the fact that he promised on Jan. 28, 2022, that “Russia will not go to war against Ukraine,” and then demanded on Feb. 18, 2022, that the West apologize for its “disinformation” “promising” a Russian invasion into Ukraine. Additionally, Volodin was about 6,000 miles away from Moscow, visiting Cuba, on the day the  Russian forces launched their multi-pronged offensive against Ukraine.

In the know or not, Volodin apparently did not need to catch his breath once the invasion commenced on Feb. 24, 2022, producing a post on his Telegram channel before the day was over that pledged support for the “special military operation” and urged Ukrainians not to resist it. His subsequent rhetoric rivals that of other potential successors, such as Dmitry Medvedev, in vitriolic attacks on Volodymyr Zelensky’s government and its supporters in the West, which he has described as “evil” and “dark,” predicting times of “cold and hunger” ahead for it. A topic on which Volodin has managed to outdo even Medvedev in vitriol is what the Russian authorities should do with the hundreds of thousands of their compatriots who left Russia immediately after the invasion began or after the subsequent partial mobilization that Putin ordered in September. The Duma speaker—who has reportedly accumulated significant wealth during Putin’s rule—is so aggrieved by these departures that not a fortnight goes by without his promising higher taxes, confiscation of property and other punishments for those who “betrayed” their country by leaving it. In his invariably tough stance on the Kremlin’s external and internal “adversaries,” Volodin has occasionally deviated from the party line, or failed to predict its next turn. For instance, on May 28, 2022, he called for preventing exports of Ukrainian grain, asserting that “[u]nder no circumstances should grain be exported” from Ukraine, only to have the Kremlin agree to just that by joining the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 27, 2022.

While competing with Medvedev in chastising Ukraine and its supporters, Volodin has also rivalled another potential successor, Nikolai Patrushev, in disseminating conspiracy theories about the West, including one about “Washington’s involvement in the emergence of the coronavirus.” In fact, other than his descriptions of often draconian laws—which his lower chamber of the Russian parliament has been rubber stamping since before the invasion—we struggled to find recent claims on Volodin’s Telegram account that are backed by facts. It is important for our readers to keep this in mind when reading through the samples of Volodin’s public remarks since Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2012 below.  After all, knowing what the fourth highest-ranking politician in Russia publicly says on issues that impact vital or important U.S. interests, per our “Clues from Russian Views” approach, is important, but so is not taking at face value the dubious claims he routinely produces.


I. U.S. and Russian priorities for the bilateral agenda

Nuclear security and safety:

  • [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s threats to reconsider Ukraine’s renunciation of nuclear weapons have become a real global security issue for the whole world. By making such statements, he has shown himself to be an irresponsible head of state. (Telegram, 02.25.22)
  • [Former Polish Foreign Minister Radislav] Sikorsky is provoking a nuclear conflict in the center of Europe. He is not thinking about the future of either Ukraine or Poland. If his proposals are realized, these countries will cease to exist, as will Europe. (Telegram, 06.12.22)
  • The actions of Washington and the Kyiv regime carry the danger of a nuclear catastrophe. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is being fired upon with rockets and heavy artillery, which can lead to tragic consequences for the inhabitants of most regions of Ukraine and a number of European countries. Responsibility for this will lie with [US President Joe] Biden and Zelensky, as well as with the heads of European states, with whose tacit consent the shelling is carried out. (Telegram, 08.12.22)
  • Many states share our concern about the situation around the Zaporizhzhia NPP. At the same time, we see that the parliaments of the United States and European countries are silent on this issue. Obviously, the Kyiv regime is committing its crimes in agreement with Washington. … [The] actions of Kyiv put the world on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. We cannot allow this. (Duma, 09.13.22)
  • The Kyiv regime tasked atomic scientists with creating a dirty bomb …The President of the United States and the heads of European states, providing financial and military assistance to the Zelensky regime, become sponsors and accomplices of nuclear terrorism. (Telegram, 10.26.22)

North Korea and its nuclear and missile programs:

  • We need to begin expert analysis of trilateral projects without waiting for the international sanctions on North Korea to be lifted. … [Above all] integration of Korean railways with the Trans-Siberian Railway and transport of pipeline gas and electricity to the Republic of Korea via the DPRK. As far as we know, Pyongyang is prepared for cooperation in this sector. (Interfax, 05.28.19)
  • At a meeting with the chair of the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly Pak Thae Song: We believe that relations [between nations] should be based on the principles of mutual respect, non-interference in the sovereign affairs of other states. (Duma, 10.22.19)

Iran and its nuclear program:

  • On the U.S. potentially leaving the JCPOA: It will be the wrong decision … It will be a decision that will affect many countries. I hope that reason will prevail and the United States will not agree to this. There is great interest among all countries for the agreement to work. (Duma, 04.09.18)
  • Our relations within the parliamentary dimension are developing in various formats, in particular within the framework of the High-Level Commission on Cooperation between the State Duma and the Assembly of the Islamic Council of Iran. Despite the pandemic, we keep in touch. It is extremely important that we can discuss the issues that have accumulated. (Duma, 08.05.21)
  • Russia and Iran are successfully counteracting the international expansion of the United States and the NATO bloc. This is evidenced by the unprecedented sanctions pressure on our countries. ... Such attempts [to interfere in Russia's and Iran's domestic affairs and disseminate disinformation] are doomed to failure. Our countries will never yield to foreign commands. ... Russia and Iran are defending the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. They stand for multipolarity and a just world order in the interests of our peoples. (World Service Wire, 01.23.23)

Humanitarian impact of the Ukraine conflict:

  • Today, the migration of Ukrainian citizens to Russia and European countries is in millions. People leave Ukraine en masse in search of work. Up to 3 million Ukrainians work in Russia alone, almost every 8th resident of Ukraine works outside its borders. There are no jobs in Ukraine, the standard of living is low, and when the President of Ukraine starts inviting citizens of other countries to a state where every sphere of life is in crisis, this is absolute populism. (Duma, 08.13.19)
  • The U.S. is looking for ways to export grain from Ukraine. Biden said that this is necessary "to reduce prices" ... Instead of real help, they take away the essentials. Grain stocks are necessary for the Ukrainians themselves to live until the new harvest. (Telegram, 05.11.22)
  • Under no circumstances should grain be exported [from Ukraine]. Ukrainians themselves will suffer from this. It is necessary first to understand what kind of balance in the country in terms of food will be formed after the grain harvest in the fall. (Telegram, 05.25.22)
  • When we talk about the U.S., the European Union, what have we heard from them in the past? One of the latest statements: the poorest countries face starvation if Russia does not allow grain to be sent to them from Ukraine. Our country has done everything to ensure that food is sent. But what do we see? Only 3% of this grain is directed to its destination. And most of it goes to the EU countries, which do not experience the problems that the world's poorest countries face. Is that fair?! No. They think only of themselves. (Duma, 09.13.22)

Military aspects of the Ukraine conflict and their impacts:

  • NATO was preparing Ukraine for an attack on our country. How else can one explain that all the decisions on the supply of weapons to Ukraine were adopted by the U.S. parliament … even before the start of the special military operation. (Telegram, 05.04.22)
  • Now it is important that those countries that support the conduct of the war in Ukraine understand that we will talk to everyone who transfers equipment, weapons and sends mercenaries, in a different way. (Rossiya 1, 11.03.22)
  • The new [2023] year, based on the unity of our citizens, should become … a year of common Victory. (Telegram, 01.02.23)
  • The beginning of the special military operation, as time has shown, turned out to be the only correct decision taken in advance. It helped to prevent a catastrophe, the death of a huge number of people. (Telegram, 01.18.23)

Punitive measures related to Russia’s war against Ukraine and their impact globally:

  • On expanded sanctions on Russia and Belarus: Those who stand behind these sanctions can be suspected of conspiring against Slavs. The is no foundation [for this dislike]. You have to ask them why they so genetically dislike [Slavic] peoples. (MT, 06.14.17)
  • Sanctions and sanctions lists are an attempt to restrain the development of Russia, as well as an attempt to restrain the development of Iran, when such decisions were made in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Duma, 04.09.18)
  • As far as companies based in Russian territory are concerned whose owners are citizens of hostile countries and where the decision has been taken [to seize Russian assets], it is fair to take reciprocal measures and confiscate assets.  (AFP, 05.01.22)
  • Despite unprecedented pressure, blackmail and sanctions, 77.6% of 1,382 foreign companies did not ... close their business in Russia. Washington and Brussels flogged themselves. The sanctions policy has led to rising prices, inflation and energy shortages [in the West]. At the same time, foreign companies are reluctant to leave the Russian market: this incurs not only costs for them, but also a lack of prospects for returning. (Telegram, 08.09.22)
  • By their decision to introduce a “ceiling” on prices for Russian oil and gas, the G-7 states recognize the ineffectiveness of the sanctions previously imposed against Russia. Washington and Brussels had to abandon the complete ban on our energy resources. An attempt to replace them failed. (Telegram, 09.09.22)
  • The internal political situation in the U.S. and the EU forces their officials to react. Americans and Europeans began to express their position on the events in Ukraine. They are not ready to pay out of their own pocket for a policy of war in the interests of the oligarchs and the Nazis. Inflation, rising prices, problems with energy resources and other difficulties that they had to face cannot but worry them on the eve of winter. (Telegram, 10.03.22)

Ukraine-related negotiations:

  • The rejection of peace negotiations by the Kyiv regime and its Western masters does not affect the plans and actions of our country in any way. But this refusal directly affects the prospects for preserving Ukrainian statehood as such. (Duma, 12.05.18)
  • It is even more important that we have a dialogue [with Ukraine]. When there is a dialogue, there is trust in each other. Until now, there has been no such dialogue. (Duma, 12.24.19)
  • We believe that all healthy forces should unite in solving this problem [the Ukraine conflict] and reach a peaceful settlement through dialogue and the search for solutions. (Duma, 12.24.19)
  • On why Ukrainian lawmakers would not travel to Russia for negotiations on peaceful resolution: The answer is simple: they don’t travel, because they know perfectly well that Russia will not go to war against Ukraine. (Telegram, 01.28.22)
  • One of Zelensky's mistakes, which led to tragic consequences, [is his] unwillingness to sit down at the negotiating table with representatives of the DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic] and LNR [Luhansk People’s Republic].1 (Telegram, 02.27.22)

Great Power rivalry/new Cold War/NATO-Russia relations:

  • Our country wants firm, legally binding security guarantees. The way out of this situation, the removal of tension in the world, now depends on the actions of the United States. They will either have to support the security measures proposed by our country, or take responsibility for the possible consequences of the lack of guarantees. Washington's response must be specific and justified, without dragging out the process. (Telegram, 01.12.22)
  • In recent weeks, the West has promised an “invasion” of the Russian Federation into Ukraine. So far, no one has apologized for this disinformation. (Telegram, 02.18.22)
  • In his first statement since the launch of the invasion: Considering that Washington and Brussels have rejected Russian proposals on global security issues, and Kyiv has been refusing to implement the Minsk agreements for eight years, the demilitarization of Ukraine is the only way left. (Telegram, 02.24.22)
  • Washington, promoting its interests in the countries of the former USSR, relies on the inexperienced and irresponsible. There is no need to look far for examples: [former Georgian President] Saakashvili is in Georgia, Zelensky is in Ukraine. (Telegram, 02.25.22)
  • Biden's statement [on Ukraine’s right to decide the ultimate settlement of the war] is built on a logic that is understandable to him, but not to us. It is exclusively colonial thinking. It makes you think that the current president of the United States is an unfortunate person stuck in the past, somewhere in the time of the Cold War. (Telegram, 03.26.22)
  • This is a battle between good and evil. Our soldiers and officers prevented a huge tragedy. NATO was preparing Ukraine for an attack on our country. ... If it were not for the decisions taken by President Putin, military operations would have been conducted on the territory of our country. (Telegram, 05.04.22)
  • The West is fighting against Russia to the last Ukrainian. … Washington and Brussels are ready to do everything to keep hostilities going. This is the reason for the decision to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for inclusion in the European Union. (Telegram, 06.20.22)
  • Placing NATO bases will not protect either Finland or Sweden. On the contrary. It will endanger the inhabitants of cities where the military infrastructure will be located. (Telegram, 07.04.22)
  • The USA and the European Union tried to block our country. But instead, they blocked themselves, isolating themselves. The latest votes at the U.N. have shown that most of the world’s population does not share their position. Sanctions against Russia were not supported by more than 80% of the world’s inhabitants. (Duma, 09.13.22)
  • The Kyiv regime proved to the whole world the failure of NATO. … It is quite obvious: this is the beginning of the end of NATO. (Telegram, 11.21.22)

China-Russia: Allied or aligned?

  • As our president has repeatedly said, our dialogue and our relations [with China] are based on unprecedented trust in each other. And it would be right to develop it within the framework of our parliamentary relations, doing everything we can to be closer and understand each other better. And, of course, to develop relations within the parliamentary dimension. (Duma, 09.08.22)
  • We discussed the situation in Ukraine, in connection with which I would like to express my gratitude to Comrade Chairman Li Zhanshu for understanding, an objective assessment of the role of the United States in what is happening and to emphasize once again that our country is fighting for peace and security, protecting its citizens and counteracting aggression, which from the side of the NATO countries unfolded on the territory of Ukraine. (Duma, 09.08.22)
  • We must look for new forms of cooperation [with China], develop them and try to do everything so that the result is a concrete result. (Duma, 09.08.22)
  • Last week we discussed the special military operation in Ukraine with our Chinese colleagues. In their opinion, Washington left Russia no other choice. (Duma, 09.13.22)

Missile defense:

  • That the Pentagon will start using balloons against Rus’ia's hypersonic missiles should be taken primarily as a failure of the American missile defense program. (Telegram, 07.12.22)

Nuclear arms:

  • It is precisely because of people like Sikorsky that it is necessary to make Ukraine free not only from the Nazi ideology, but also to demilitarize it, ensuring the country's non-nuclear status. (Duma, 06.12.22)
  • If Washington and [other] NATO countries supply weapons [to Ukraine], which will be then used to strike peaceful cities and attempt to seize our territories, as they threaten to do, then this will lead to retaliation with more powerful weapons ... Given the technological superiority of Russian weapons, foreign politicians who are making such decisions need to understand: this could end in a tragedy on a global scale that will destroy their countries. ... Arguments that nuclear powers have not previously used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts are untenable because these states have not encountered a situation where there was a threat to the security of their citizens and the territorial integrity of countries. (Telegram, 01.22.23)


  • While expressing his support for a bill that would allow the Russian authorities to revoke Russian citizenship from those who have been convicted of conducting terrorist attacks against Russia: This is, indeed, a political signal from the state to those who plot bad things against the citizens of Russia. This is a political decision that signals that no slack will be cut in relation to terrorists. And the struggle of the state [against such individuals] will be uncompromising. (BBC, 04.20.17)

Conflict in Syria:

  • These airstrikes [by the U.S.] were conducted against a sovereign state [Syria] ... this is a fact of aggression by the United States, and aggression under an absolutely far-fetched pretext. (Sputnik, 04.07.17)
  • The positions of Iran and Russia on Syria are not just constructive. Not only do we have a common position, but, first of all, there is a desire to resolve the situation in a country that was practically on the verge of a split, where a terrorist organization was created and began to take on the form of a state, becoming a threat to the whole world. (Duma, 04.09.18)
  • [Russia’s and Iran’s joint anti-terrorist efforts in Syria] help promote security in the region. At the same time, the war on terrorism is only part of our common struggle for a peaceful future. (World Service Wire, 01.23.23)

Cyber security:

  • The development of new technologies dictates the need to protect digital sovereignty. Entire countries, including Russia, are falling victim to attacks on critical infrastructure. Many states are faced with attempts of cyber interference in internal affairs, including in their information and political processes. In particular, the dissemination of false information and "fake news" is a serious destabilizing factor. This is another threat to the basic traditional values ​​that underlie all institutions of social interaction. In addition, "fake news" can be used as targeted disinformation for economic wars and violent provocations. The answer to these challenges is also in the plane of legal regulation. (RG, 07.09.19)

Elections interference:

  • The Russian side has always emphasized that we consider the U.S. presidential election to be an exclusively internal issue … and Russia respects the choice of the American people. (Duma, 11.09.16)
  • It is important that they [elections to the State Duma] be held openly, competitively and legitimately, in strict accordance with national legislation. At the same time, everything must be done to prevent foreign interference in our election campaign. (Duma, 01.19.21)
  • We hold that meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states is unacceptable, this is an integral part of our nation’s policy. We do not meddle and we will not allow it with regards to us. (TASS, 11.07.22)

Energy exports from CIS:

  • I was asked to comment on the fact that Russia has stopped supplying gas to some European countries. In my opinion, this is the right decision. Such measures should be taken against unfriendly countries. (Telegram, 04.30.22)
  • Washington dooms Europe to starvation, cold and isolation. ... European states’ decisions to refuse Russian energy, the severance of economic cooperation with our country and the ban on the entry of Russian citizens have been made under pressure from Washington. (Telegram, 08.19.22)
  • The energy security of Europe without Russia is impossible. Last year, European states purchased 341 billion cubic meters of gas, of which almost 50% came from Russian pipelines. Sanctions against our country led to an energy crisis in the European states that initiated them. French President Macron tried to solve the problem of gas shortage during his trip to Algeria, but to no avail. Even if all exports of pipeline gas from Africa, as well as the countries of the Middle East and the CIS are redirected, Europe will not be able to compensate for 62.8% of the volume previously supplied from Russia. (Telegram, 09.02.22)
  • What officials in the G-7 states call the "ceiling" of prices will be the "floor." The world market is not limited to seven countries. More than 80% of the world's population does not support sanctions against Russia. The limit price announced by the West will become the lower bar. The cost of energy resources will be decided by the market and contractual obligations. (Telegram, 09.09.22)
  • The Western model of the global economy, based on colonial principles, has become obsolete. The G-7 countries will no longer be able to exist by exploiting the rest of the world, buying cheap resources from Russia and other states. The era of their parasitism is over. (Telegram, 09.09.22)
  • The well-being of the European Union was built on cheap Russian energy resources. By setting a ceiling on gas and oil prices, the European states punished themselves. For Europeans, the time of social stability, economic growth and low prices are in the past. (Telegram, 12.22.22)

Climate change:

  • To be updated.

U.S.-Russian economic ties:

  • To be updated.

U.S.-Russian relations in general:

  • It is important for us that relations between our countries [the U.S. and Russia] be built on the basis of mutual respect and equal partnership, and that cooperation be mutually beneficial. Only in this case will we be able to raise our relations to a new level that meets the interests of the people of the two countries. (Duma, 11.09.16)
  • Current Russian-American relations cannot be called friendly. I would like to believe that a more constructive dialogue between our countries is possible with the new U.S. President [Donald Trump]. The Russian Parliament will only welcome and support any steps in this direction. (Duma, 11.09.16)
  • It is necessary to base the building of bilateral relations [with the U.S.] primarily on the principles of friendship, mutual respect, the absence of double standards and the principles of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states. (Duma, 04.09.18)
  • For its part, Russia has emphasized and continues to emphasize the need to build a dialogue, friendly relations, and this is our foreign policy both in relation to the United States and in relation to other countries. (Duma, 04.09.18)
  • On the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol: When we talk about elections in other countries, it would be right to analyze and summarize the experience and then perhaps send some proposals to our colleagues in the U.S. … We’ll send recommendations. … Don’t interfere in the affairs of sovereign states, deal with your problems, and we’ll deal with our own. (MT, 01.15.21)
  • We have always, and I want to emphasize this today, opposed violent unconstitutional actions. And the United States of America, on the contrary, encouraged and supported these processes in many countries of the world, interfering in their sovereign affairs. (Duma, 01.19.21)
  • On LGBTQ: We must protect our citizens and Russia from degradation and extinction. From the darkness spread by the U.S. and European states. (Telegram, 01.18.22)
  • The president of the United States is obliged to explain to the world community the facts about the activities of biological laboratories discovered during the special military operation in Ukraine. And the U.S. Congress should start its own investigation. (Telegram, 03.25.22)
  • Let America always remember: there’s a piece of territory, Alaska. When they try to manage our resources abroad, let them think before they act that we, too, have something to take back. (MT/AFP, 07.07.22)
  • The U.N. should conduct an independent investigation into Washington's involvement in the emergence of the coronavirus. The United States is obliged to compensate countries for the costs of the consequences of the pandemic. (Telegram, 11.01.22)
  • On the 2022 U.S. midterm elections: Things are bad for [U.S. President Joe] Biden. The current leadership in Washington is holding on to power as much as it can. … The American people don't vote for Democrats due to the problems they created themselves. This is what first needs to be questioned. (TASS, 11.07.22)
  • Biden signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage at the federal level. ... The path chosen by Washington will unambiguously lead to major problems in American society and the degeneration of the nation. (Telegram, 12.17.22)


II. Russia’s domestic policies

Domestic politics, economy and energy:

  • On investigating allegations of corruption against Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Supporting this initiative means supporting [opposition politician Alexei] Navalny. There is an understanding among all factions that we have to unite to defend the prime minister from the attacks of Navalny, who is singing with the voice of the Western intelligence services. (MT, 04.05.17)
  • Working on these [parliamentary] bills is extremely important. They form the basis for achieving national goals [including] … the growth of real incomes of citizens and pensions above inflation, a halving of the poverty rate and an increase in average life expectancy to over 80. To solve these problems, we need to achieve economic growth rates higher than world [rates]. (Duma, 07.27.18)
  • Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] is the core of the Russian Federation ... He grabbed Russia from the point of no return and assumed a responsibility that would remain with him for life. … Today, given the challenges and threats that exist in the world, oil and gas are not our advantages. … Our advantage is Putin, and we must protect him. (MT, 03.12.20)
  • Our country's economy is developing, coping with challenges. We must believe in our national currency. We must think about the development of our country, and then the ruble will recover and become stronger. (Interfax, 02.22.22)
  • As for the challenges—united, we will overcome any. Panic and tension in society is what Washington and NATO are waiting for, having unleashed an unprecedented economic war against us. (Telegram, 03.13.22)
  • Those who are financed by the state, and therefore by the people, but have betrayed them [by speaking against the war], must leave leadership positions in budgetary institutions of culture, education, healthcare and other areas. (Telegram, 04.01.22)
  • Today, [Russian TV producer] Marina Ovsyannikova received a handout in the form of a job at Die Welt. This is how her trick was evaluated during a news program on Channel One. Unfortunately, for such “citizens of the Russian Federation” there is no procedure for deprivation of citizenship and a ban on entry into our country. But perhaps [such measures] would be right. (Telegram, 04.11.22)
  • Obviously, the Western model in this area [higher education] cannot be blindly copied. The correct way is to create our own national effective system of higher education based on the best practices of today and the Soviet period. (Telegram, 06.13.22)
  • Taking into account the expressed position of most factions, there is confidence that the bills prohibiting the promotion of non-traditional values, as well as establishing responsibility for its dissemination, will be adopted. (DumaTV, 06.28.22)
  • Those who wanted to wait out this time [the conflict in Ukraine], leave for a warm country and watch it all from there, must understand that they are traitors. (Meduza, 07.30.22)
  • If there is Putin, there is Russia, (Telegram, 10.07.22)
  • Today, many are discussing how many people left the country. ... Their act is a betrayal of the country. In the future, many will regret this. (Telegram, 10.11.22)
  • Wanderers [who left Russia] will inevitably end up like used material—they will become unnecessary. This should be understood by everyone who has committed a treacherous act in relation to their country, loved ones, relatives. (Telegram, 12.07.22)
  • It is right to cancel preferential treatment for those who left the Russian Federation and introduce an increased tax rate for them. (Telegram, 12.25.22)
  • Despite the unprecedented pressure and the imposition of more than 13 thousand sanctions against our country, the political system created by our President and the economic model survived, proving its effectiveness.  (Telegram, 12.28.22)
  • It is important that business be nationally oriented, earned funds remain in the country and are used for its development. (Telegram, 01.09.23)
  • The scoundrels who have left [Russia] live comfortably thanks to our country. While abroad, they rent out real estate, continue to receive royalties at the expense of Russian citizens. At the same time, they allow themselves to publicly pour dirt on Russia, insult our soldiers and officers. ... [I]t would be correct to supplement the relevant articles of the Criminal Code with a clause on the confiscation of property from scoundrels in the Russian Federation, of which they have enough to compensate for the damage. (Telegram, 01.12.23)

Defense and aerospace:

  • On a soldier denied entry into a restaurant because he was in uniform: Our soldiers and officers, risking their lives, defend the country and citizens. We need to do everything to support military personnel and their families. … [I]t is necessary that such actions be punished, and institutions that treat military personnel in this way should be closed. … We are proud of our military and law enforcement officers. Our duty is to protect them from rudeness and similar manifestations. This is the least we can do for them. (Duma, 09.13.22)
  • On “partial mobilization”: Today, not only armed Nazi formations, but also NATO forces are fighting against our soldiers and officers ... The line of combat contact is more than 1,000 kilometers. In comparison, four groups of armies operated to liberate Ukrainian territories from the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War. (Telegram, 09.22.22)
  • Partial mobilization cannot be treated as a formality. The combat readiness of our Armed Forces, the solution of the tasks of a special military operation, depends on its effectiveness. (Telegram, 09.25.22)
  • See section Military aspects of the Ukraine conflict and their impacts above.

Security, law-enforcement and justice:

  • The draft law [an amendment to the federal law on weapons] provides for a ban on issuing weapons purchasing licenses to those citizens of the Russian Federation, about whom law enforcement agencies have information regarding their involvement in an organized criminal group (including extremist or terrorist ones) or their intentions to use weapons for illegal (criminal) ends. (Duma, 05.04.22)


III. Russia’s relations with other countries

Russia’s general foreign policy and relations with “far abroad” countries:

  • We can’t allow the revival of neocolonialism, a predatory attitude toward African resources. To do this, we need to protect the sovereign right of African states to build their own future. (MT, 07.03.19)
  • The European Court of Human Rights has become an instrument of political struggle against our country in the hands of Western politicians. Some of its decisions directly contradicted the Constitution of the Russian Federation, our values and traditions. (Telegram, 01.06.22)
  • Western sanctions are leading to the establishment of another group of eight nations—China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Turkey—that is 24.4% ahead of the old group of developed countries in terms of GDP and purchasing power parity. (TASS, 06.11.22)


  • To Ukrainians in his first statement since the launch of the invasion: We are one people. Think of our shared history. We have common victories. One culture, one faith. (Telegram, 02.24.22)
  • The ascent of the Donetsk, Luhansk people's republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions into the Russian Federation is the only way to save millions of people's lives from the criminal Kyiv regime. Stop shelling the civilian population, the elderly, women and children. To protect the right to one's native language, culture, history and one's faith. (Telegram, 10.03.22)
  • [Ukrainian] citizens are expendable for Washington and Brussels: the war to the last Ukrainian takes hundreds of lives every day. The Kyiv regime leads Ukraine to its complete disappearance. (Telegram, 11.03.22)
  • Today, Kyiv spends more than half of its own income, 57.9%, on servicing its debts ... Ukraine is a bankrupt state. (Telegram, 11.14.22)

Russia's other post-Soviet neighbors:

  • The issues of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot but concern us. You know that Russia is in favor of a peaceful settlement of this conflict ... All those who advocate the aggravation of relations, all those who do not hear the words and the desire of the people to live in peace, of course, follow the path of tension. We must do everything to prevent this path. (Voskanapat.info, 06.25.18)
  • Russia and Belarus are building relations on the principles of strategic partnership, respect for each other's interests, and non-interference in internal affairs. (Duma, 04.02.21)
  • Those who overcome problems become stronger. We must proceed from the fact that our countries [Russia and Kazakhstan] have gone through a lot, the peoples know each other well. Our relationship must be mutually beneficial. (Duma, 06.06.22)
  • The leaders of the Baltic countries have been saying for 30 years that they are building independent states. In fact, all decisions are made in Washington and Brussels. (Telegram, 01.25.23)

This is the third installment in our series on the views of Putin’s potential successors; the first covered Nikolai Patrushev, while the second covered Dmitry Medvedev. The quotes above are divided into categories similar to those in Russia Matters’ news and analysis digests, reflecting the most pertinent topic areas for U.S.-Russian relations broadly and for drivers of the two countries’ policies toward one another. Bulleted text that is not italicized, bracketed or in parentheses is a direct quote from Volodin. Quotes linked to English-language sources were taken from the source indicated; quotes linked to Russian-language sources were translated by RM. Entries in each subsection are in chronological order, from oldest to newest.

This item is also part of Russia Matters’ “Clues from Russian Views” series, in which we share what newsmakers in/from Russia are saying on Russia-related issues that impact key U.S. national interests so that RM readers can glean clues about their thinking. The opinions expressed in the compiled quotes are solely those of the (State Duma) speaker.

Photo by duma.gov.ru shared under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Unrecognized entities, which were established by separatists in 2014 and annexed by Russia in 2022.