The Russian leader, who has ruled the country for a long time, confirms that he will seek to add a fifth presidential term in the upcoming elections next March.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his candidacy for the presidential elections scheduled for 2024.
Putin announced his decision to seek an extension of his rule on Friday. He will almost certainly win a fifth term as president, allowing him to continue leading the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
If elected, the 71-year-old Putin would extend his 24-year leadership of Russia, albeit for eight years that he officially spent as prime minister. His term is now the longest of any ruler of Russia, with the exception of Joseph Stalin.
The decision was not surprising, as the Russian military campaign in Ukraine is seen as having strengthened national support for the president.
State news agencies reported that Putin announced his plan at an awards ceremony in which he presented veterans with Russia’s highest military decoration.
State media reported that one of the recipients of the Hero of Russia’s Golden Star, a lieutenant colonel named Artyom Goga, asked the president to run again.
“He will escape,” the soldier told reporters afterward.
Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that many people urged Putin to run.
On Thursday, the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation Council agreed to set March 17 as the date for voting.
Opposition politicians have described the elections as a threat to democracy amid allegations that Putin has turned Russia into a corrupt dictatorship.
In recent years, prominent opposition leaders such as Alexei Navalny and Ilya Yashin have also been imprisoned.
Opponents signaled they had some hope that the war in Ukraine, and the Western sanctions it sparked — as well as a failed rebellion by mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in June — could lead to a challenge to the Kremlin chief’s position in the next election.
But independent opinion polls indicate that support for Putin remains strong, with his approval ratings exceeding 80%.
His supporters say Putin has restored order and some of the influence that Russia lost during the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.
Putin was handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, and has already served as president longer than any other ruler of Russia since Stalin, besting even Leonid Brezhnev’s 18 years.
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