Reading today's news feed from rbc.ru:

  • Минфин допустил отказ от услуг рейтинговых агентств
  • «Газпром» допустил прекращение поставок Киеву через два дня
  • Правозащитники допустили возвращение Януковичу замороженных активов
  • ОПЕК допустила проведение внеочередного заседания из-за дешевеющей нефти

Am I missing something or the authors confuse допустить and допустить возможность?

Is such usage of допустить justified?

4 Answers 4


This usage of допустить as a synonym of допускать возможность is quite new, but it is becoming widespread in some media, especially in headlines, so it may become the norm at some point.

Search on lenta.ru shows the dynamics: before 2013 there is only the traditional usage (to allow), but since 2014 only the new one (to consider the possibility).

Коммерсантъ seems to be more conservative, but nevertheless:

Other media like Независимая still follow the stricter rules.

  • Could you please give a direct link to one of Коммерсантъ articles? I failed to find any with non-traditional usage there.
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 20:01
  • @quassnoi, you are right, Kommersant mostly follows the normal usage. However, here is one example: "Алексей Улюкаев допустил повышение пенсионного возраста" www.kommersant.ru/doc/2656384
    – J-mster
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 20:28
  • @Quassnoi, I've added few direct quotes to the answer.
    – J-mster
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 21:11
  • @J-mster I think it can become the norm if native speakers actually understand this use, which is questionable at best. I had to read the contents of the article to get the meaning. A few years will show if it spreads farther (I mean, all news writers whould have the same disability to let this happen all at once).
    – Shady_arc
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 4:55

I think it is not justified but they (press) are going to do it anyway.

When press does not like current events, they tend to try and write about the future, where more interesting things can be imagined. But naturally language doesn't give them enough freedom so they bend it.

"«Газпром» допустил прекращение поставок Киеву" means that Газпром has already errorneously stopped deliveries to Киев and should take blame for that - Russian.

"«Газпром» допустил прекращение поставок Киеву через два дня" means Газпром contemplates stopping deliveries in two days for which it doesn't expect blame - Newsspeak.

The correct Russian form is, of course, "«Газпром» допустил возможность прекращения поставок Киеву через два дня"


It would only be justified if they meant "a certain entity let something undesired happen". From what I've read on their site, it does not seem to be the case.

If they mean "they cosider the possibility of ...", the usage is poor to say the least. With their command of Russian it would be safer going for "Минфин может отказаться от услуг рейтинговых агентств", which does not leave a reader wondering what's going on.


Your examples are what is called "канцелярит". Absolutely horrible. If I were the Head of Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, I would have already fired all those "knights of the pen" without any dismission pay :-)

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