Russian liberal politician Viacheslav Maltsev, Deputy Chair of the extra-parliamentary Parnas opposition party, said that the Russian economy is completely dependent upon the mood of one man - Putin. "If [the Tsar] knows what is happening [in his own country], and encourages it, he should be impaled on a stake," he said. Maltsev was speaking during an August 22 pre-elections debate on the Russian economy on the Russia 1 federal TV channel. His statements generated a harsh response from parliamentary parties, especially from the United Russia ruling party, with one of the MPs saying that if somebody says such things, the police should arrest him on the spot.
Viacheslav Maltsev: "We are facing a regular situation: The Tsars aristocrats are always guilty, while the Tsar himself is infallible. If the Tsar does not know what is happening in his own country, he should be hospitalized in a mental asylum. If he knows, but doesn't do anything about it, he should be put in prison. If he knows what is happening, and encourages it, he should be impaled on a stake.
"Now you can see that there are in fact only two parties. Raise your hands if you are against Putin. We are against Putin. So there are only two parties: Those who support Putin, and those who are against Putin.
"What does the Russian economy look like today? They tell us that they have detailed economic programs, but in fact, the entire economy of Russia is dependent upon Putin's will. It depends on his mood. If he's in a good mood, we have a poor economy. If he's in a bad mood, we have a disastrous economy. It is really undesirable for the economy and politics of the great country to be dependent on the will of one man."