Putin to stand for re-election as president next year


Russian President Vladimir Putin will run for office again in 2024.

The 71-year-old – whose power has been questioned like never before over the costly war in Ukraine – will be widely expected to win and secure another six years in the Kremlin, taking him to 2030.

He made the announcement during a medal ceremony for Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

When asked by a member of the military if he would stand again, the president replied: “I understand there is no other way to act today, now is the time to make a decision, I will run.”

Recent constitutional changes have paved the way for Mr Putin to potentially run again in 2030, opening up the possibility of staying in power up until 2036.

Mr Putin is already the country’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin, beating even Leonid Brezhnev’s 18-year tenure.

He first became president in 1999.

Mr Putin did not run in 2008 because of term limits but was appointed prime minister, a role in which he was still widely seen as effectively Russia’s leader. In 2012, he returned to the Kremlin.

He is expected to face only token opposition in the next election, scheduled to be held on 17 March.

Many of his political rivals have either left Russia or been jailed, including high-profile figures such as Alexei Navalny, who recently lost an appeal against an additional 19-year prison sentence.

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Sky’s Moscow correspondent Diana Magnay said the carefully choreographed announcement was not unexpected – and “it will be no surprise when he wins”.

However, she said among the key questions in the election would be the turnout and size of his majority. Around 80% of the population is thought to support Mr Putin.

She added: “This is not a fake majority, if you go around this country, large numbers of people do believe the Kremlin’s propaganda, they do believe Vladimir Putin is the only man who can lead Russia now and they will be voting for him in the election.”

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Kremlin creating nation of patriots

Mr Putin’s grip on power came into question earlier this year during a short-lived rebellion by mercenaries from the Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.

However the group quickly backed down and two months later Mr Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash north of Moscow.

Mr Putin has also faced a string of protests against war in Ukraine. Hundreds of Russians have been arrested in police crackdowns on the demonstrations.

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