Vladimir Putin announces bid for another 6-year term in 2024

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed his candidacy for another six-year presidential term in 2024.

MOSCOW, Dec 9: Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed his candidacy for another six-year presidential term in 2024, aiming to surpass Joseph Stalin’s record as the longest-serving Russian leader. The announcement came indirectly from a Russian military officer, Lt. Col. Artyom Zhoga, who revealed that he pleaded with Putin on behalf of soldiers in Ukraine. Putin, depicted as modest amid the Ukraine invasion, accepted the request, emphasizing the urgent need for his leadership during challenging times.

Zhoga’s Sparta Battalion, an ultranationalist force integrated into the Russian armed forces, played a key role in the 2014 insurgency in eastern Ukraine. The officer, speaking at a Kremlin event where Hero of Russia awards were presented, urged Putin to contest the election, framing him as a crucial military leader during wartime.

The choice of emphasizing Putin’s role as a wartime leader aligns with the Kremlin’s strategy, intending to make the war a centerpiece of his campaign. Putin’s effective rule over Russia since 2000, his constitutional amendments in 2012, and changes in 2020 allowing him to potentially stay in power until 2036 reflect a long-term leadership approach akin to autocrats in China and North Korea.

Putin’s anticipated re-election in March is virtually guaranteed in Russia’s controlled election system, marked by media control, restrictions on anti-Kremlin figures, and the imprisonment of major opponents. Election irregularities and changes introduced since 2020, including extended voting periods and electronic voting, have raised concerns about transparency and fairness. The state propaganda campaign maintains high support for Putin, framing the Ukraine conflict as a battle for Russia’s survival against a perceived threat from the West.

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