efe_epaMoscow

The Russian president on Wednesday expressed his disapproval at the re-emerging debate in the country as to whether it should return to a monarchic system, a Kremlin spokesman said.

In the past few years, there have been several voices in Russia calling for the restoration of the monarchy, a century after the last Tsar, Nicholas II Romanov, abdicated in the face of revolution.

"In the past five years, he has been asked several times about this topic and he has been compelled to answer in one or another context. President Vladimir Putin sees such ideas without optimism and is very cool about such discussions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press in Moscow.

The prime minister of the annexed "Republic of Crimea," Sergey Aksyonov, had recently stated that "Russia needs the monarchy."

"We don't need a democracy like the ones promoted by Western media. We have our traditional, orthodox values," said Aksyonov, a member of Putin's United Russia party.

"In the current situation, in which we are facing an external enemy, democracy is superfluous. I'm referring to the debauchery many people call democracy," he added.

Peskov said Aksyonov's words solely reflected his personal opinion and joked that "there cannot be a monarchy just in a particular region of Russia."

On Mar. 15, 1917 (Mar. 2 in the old Julian calendar then in use), Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate in Pskov in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, who within one day relinquished power to an elected representative assembly.

The February Revolution had seen soldiers, workers and the petite bourgeoisie join together to bring down the old regime of hereditary aristocrats and the form of absolutist despotism Tsarist autocracy represented.

The revolutionaries hoisted the red flag atop St. Petersburg's Winter Palace, sung the "Marseillaise" and continuously chanted the word "Respublika" ("republic").

The tsar was imprisoned, the Bolshevik party took power in the October Revolution and all surviving members of the Romanov dynasty were brutally bayoneted, clubbed or shot to death on July 17, 1918.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the royal family, with both Boris Yeltsin _ the first post-USSR Russian president _ and Putin publicly honoring the newly-elevated saints.

Nevertheless, according to polling data, only a minority of the Russian population supports reinstating monarchy in the country.

In fact, about a third has a positive view of Communist leaders such as Vladimir Lenin (1917-1924) _ whose mausoleum remains intact at Moscow's Red Square _ and Joseph Stalin (1924-1953).