Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce he’s running for reelection as soon as November, launching his widely expected bid for a fifth term as president.
(Bloomberg) — Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce he’s running for reelection as soon as November, launching his widely expected bid for a fifth term as president.
The informal kick-off for his campaign could come at an international exhibition in Moscow where each of Russia’s regions will be represented, Kommersant newspaper reported, citing unidentified people close to the Kremlin. There are other options for the announcement under consideration, and Putin alone will make the final decision on how it will come, the report said.
The event, called Russia Expo, starts on Nov. 4 at a venue that was first opened in 1935 by the Soviet state. It will aim to showcase Russia, its regions and various economic achievements.
Putin’s campaign will seek to portray Russia as a separate civilization with traditional values at its center, but under attack by enemies, Kommersant said.
Read more: Putin Turns to Ruble and Ballot to Shore Up Shaken Authority
The Kremlin has been preparing for the presidential elections that are scheduled for March as it seeks to deliver Putin a decisive victory to demonstrate he retains the full support of Russians amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Putin has been president, with only one interruption when he served as prime minister for a term, since December 1999, when the country’s first post-Soviet president, Boris Yeltsin, stepped down. Already the longest-serving Kremlin ruler since Soviet leader Josef Stalin, he could remain as president until 2036 after revising the constitution to allow himself two more terms.
Read more: Russia’s Ruling Party Sweeps Local Votes Seen as Putin’s Dry Run
Putin gained a record 77% support to win a fourth six-year term in 2018 even as he barely campaigned before the election in which he faced no real challenger. The Kremlin has waged a relentless crackdown on opposition activists, particularly since beginning the invasion of Ukraine, to crush any prospect of protests against his rule.
His approval rating in September stood at 80%, according to the Moscow-based Levada center.
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