Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday (8 December) his intention to participate in the 2024 presidential election. This anticipated decision is likely to maintain his hold on power until 2030, at the very least.
Since being granted the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the final day of 1999, Putin has surpassed all other Russian rulers in terms of length of service since Josef Stalin, even exceeding Leonid Brezhnev's 18-year term.
Following the presentation of Russia's most prestigious military accolade, the Hero of Russia Gold Star, to soldiers who had served in Ukraine, Putin was questioned by a lieutenant colonel about his plans to run for office again, according to reports from Russian news agencies.
According to Indian Express, the head of the Kremlin declared his intention to do so. Last month, Reuters reported that Putin had decided to run.
The election is merely a procedural exercise for Putin. Given the backing of the state, state-controlled media, and the near absence of mainstream public opposition, his victory is assured. Putin celebrated his 71st birthday on 7 October.
Critics in the political opposition describe the election as a mere veneer of democracy, used to cover what they perceive as the corrupt autocracy of Putin's Russia.
Advocates for Putin reject such analysis, citing independent surveys that indicate his approval ratings surpass 80 per cent. They argue that Putin has reinstated order and reclaimed some of Russia's lost influence that resulted from the disorder following the Soviet Union's fall.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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