Vladimir Putin will attempt to serve a fifth term as Russian president, as he announces his intention to compete in the 2024 presidential election.
Making the announcement after a Kremlin award ceremony on Friday, the 71-year-old confirmed he will compete for another six years in office.
The vote, which Putin is all but certain to win, is due to take place on March 17, 2024.
He still commands wide support after nearly a quarter-century in power, despite starting the war in Ukraine that has taken thousands of his own men’s lives.
A short-lived rebellion in June by mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin raised widespread speculation that Putin could be losing his grip, but he emerged with no permanent scars.
Prigozhin’s death in a mysterious plane crash two months later reinforced the view that Putin was in absolute control.
“I won’t hide it from you — I had various thoughts about it over time, but now, you’re right, it’s necessary to make a decision,” Putin said in a video released by the Kremlin after the event on Friday.
“I will run for president of the Russian Federation.”
About 80% of the populace approves of Putin’s performance, according to the independent pollster Levada Center.
That support might come from the heart or it might reflect submission to a leader whose crackdown on any opposition has made even relatively mild criticism risky.
In 2008, Putin stepped aside to become prime minister due to term limits but continued calling the shots while his close associate Dmitry Medvedev served as a placeholder president.
Presidential terms were then extended to six years from four, while another package of amendments he pushed through three years ago reset the count for two consecutive terms to begin in 2024.
Putin is already the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who died in 1953.
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