In a move that could reshape the course of Russian politics, Vladimir Putin, the long-serving Russian President, has made a resolute decision to run in the upcoming March presidential election. This pivotal decision is set to extend his tenure, ensuring that he remains in power until at least 2030. Six reliable sources with deep insights into Kremlin politics have revealed this exclusive information to Reuters.
Putin’s political journey began in the twilight of the 20th century when he was handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999. Over the years, he has not only surpassed the tenures of his predecessors but also made history by serving longer than any Russian ruler since Josef Stalin, even eclipsing Leonid Brezhnev’s 18-year rule. Now, as Putin celebrated his 71st birthday on October 7, 2023, he is poised to embark on a new chapter that may further solidify his influence over Russia.
The Unveiling of Putin’s Decision
These revelations come from sources who chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information and the intricate nature of Kremlin politics. They have indicated that preparations for Putin’s election campaign are already in motion. The unanimous consensus among these sources is clear: Putin will run in the election, and it’s merely a formality given his popularity within Russia.
“The decision has been made – he will run,” asserted one of the informed sources. Another source corroborated this, stating that a carefully choreographed hint of Putin’s candidacy is expected to surface in the coming weeks, supporting a previous Kommersant newspaper report. An additional source, also privy to Kremlin’s internal discussions, confirmed that Putin’s decision is final, and his advisors are actively preparing for his participation.
The Global Context
While many foreign diplomats and experts had anticipated Putin’s intention to remain in power indefinitely, there had been no official confirmation until now. The international community remains attentive to Putin’s actions, particularly in light of recent geopolitical developments.
Putin’s decision to run comes at a time when Russia is facing a confluence of global challenges that test its resilience and influence on the world stage. The war in Ukraine, which has triggered the most significant confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, has been a defining factor in shaping contemporary geopolitics.
The imposition of Western sanctions has had a profound impact on the Russian economy, delivering one of the most significant external shocks in decades. Additionally, Putin encountered a failed mutiny by one of Russia’s most influential mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in June, leading to Prigozhin’s untimely death in a plane crash. These challenges have led to the West portraying Putin as a war criminal and a dictator who has aggressively expanded Russian territory, destabilizing the region and fostering Ukrainian statehood.
From Putin’s perspective, the ongoing struggle with the United States and the Western world is much more than a regional conflict. The Kremlin’s inner circle contends that the West’s ultimate objective is to fracture Russia, exploit its vast natural resources, and subsequently turn its attention to challenging China.
As a response, Russia has been bolstering its weapons production, and its $2.1 trillion economy is projected to outpace the European Union this year. Furthermore, the price of Urals crude oil, the lifeblood of Russia’s economy, has maintained a robust average of $81.52 per barrel in October. These factors underscore the resilience of the Russian economy amid external pressures.
Challenges on the Home Front
However, not all voices within Russia echo Putin’s perspective. Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition politician, asserts that Putin has steered Russia towards a strategic impasse. He argues that Putin’s leadership has fostered a fragile system of corruption and sycophancy that could ultimately lead to chaos rather than stability.
Oleg Orlov, a respected human rights activist, concurs with this sentiment, claiming that Russia has regressed, moving from Communist totalitarianism to a different form of totalitarianism. The toll of the conflict in Ukraine has been heavy, with hundreds of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers estimated to have been killed or wounded in just over a year and a half, surpassing the official Soviet casualties in the 1979-1989 war in Afghanistan.
Before his untimely demise, Yevgeny Prigozhin criticized Putin’s generals and the perceived incompetence in executing the war. He even warned that Russia could face a revolution if the elite failed to address the critical issues at hand.
Vladimir Putin’s decision to run for the presidential election until 2030 marks a pivotal moment in Russian politics. While it may seem like a foregone conclusion given his overwhelming support and the state machinery behind him, the challenges that Russia faces on the international stage are formidable.
The world is watching as Putin takes on these challenges, and his decision to seek an extended presidency will undoubtedly shape the course of Russia’s future. As Putin prepares to lead Russia into the new decade, the geopolitical landscape remains uncertain, and the global community awaits further developments.