It was long considered certain that Kremlin leader Putin would run for president for the fifth time. But the big mystery was when and how he would make his candidacy for the fifth term public.
As expected, Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has announced his candidacy again in the Russian presidential election next year. Russian state media reported this on Friday. At a ceremony in the Kremlin to honor the “Heroes of Russia”, Putin announced his intention to run for the fifth time in the election on March 17, 2024, at the request of military officials. The 71-year-old had the Russian constitution changed specifically in order to be able to run again. The Central Election Commission had previously officially confirmed the date for the vote.
According to representatives of the Russian state media, the news of Putin’s renewed candidacy was brought by Artyom Shoga, an official from the Moscow-occupied Ukrainian region of Donetsk. The native Ukrainian, who had actively fought on the Russian side against Kiev’s troops, asked Putin to let the people in the annexed areas also take part in the election.
There had been speculation in Russia for weeks about when and how Putin would announce his new candidacy. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday morning that the president would do that if he thought it was necessary. After the ceremony in the Kremlin ended, officials in Russia rushed to express their loyalty to Putin.
Putin’s re-election is considered a given
State television has been showing programs for days in which citizens assure Putin, who has been in power for almost a quarter of a century, that they will vote for him. His re-election is considered certain.
The Kremlin expects a record result for Putin in the election, which is dominated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The president presents himself as a champion against the USA’s desire for supremacy and against NATO’s eastward expansion. The stylization of the West as an enemy against which Putin is fighting has caught the attention of many Russians. In the 2018 vote, Putin received 76.69 percent of the vote.
The Kremlin traditionally seeks to organize a field of presidential candidates before elections to create the appearance of selection and competition for Putin. However, the candidates nominated by various parliamentary parties are generally considered to have no chance at all.
Kremlin opponents around the imprisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who has had no sign of life for days, have launched a campaign against Putin ahead of the presidential election. “Russia without Putin” is the name of the campaign in which citizens are supposed to vote for any candidate – just not for the incumbent.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.