While many in Russia and the West see Mr. Brezhnev’s reign as one of stagnant totalitarianism, for Mr. Putin’s spokesman the analogy isn’t a bad thing at all. “Brezhnev wasn’t a minus for the history of our country, he was a huge plus,” Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd, an independent Russian television network. “He laid the foundation of the economy, agriculture, etc.”
This is an soviet political propoganda tactic of reinterpreting history. They are trying to say that they want Russia to return the “glory days” of Brezhnev other than the last few years of the 18 years of Brezhnev. Those days were when Russian soviet economic and military and geopolitical power was at a peak.
“A lot of people are talking about the Brezhnevization of Putin,” Mr. Peskov said in the interview. “But these are people who know nothing about Brezhnev.”
The Communist Party chief—who died in office after a long illness in 1982 at the age of 75—is widely remembered for bringing an era of economic and political stagnation and tension with the West that ultimately led to the Soviet Union’s collapse.
In the TV interview, Mr. Peskov admitted that Mr. Brezhnev “didn’t leave in time.” But he said the stagnant period was only a short part of his 18-year reign, the early part of which saw strong economic growth and rising living standards. Mr. Putin’s next presidency “shouldn’t be confused with the late Brezhnev era,” he said.
Mr. Putin vowed to continue the tight budget policies that had made Mr. Kudrin, the former finance minister, a hero among foreign investors. At the same time, he also vowed to push ahead with the 20-trillion-ruble ($612 billion) defense buildup Mr. Kudrin had publicly criticized as too expensive for the budget to bear.