Putin still commands wide support after nearly a quarter-century in power, despite starting an immensely costly war in Ukraine that has taken thousands of his countrymen’s lives, provoked repeated attacks inside Russia -– including one on the Kremlin itself -– and corroded its aura of invincibility.
The Kremlin said “lots of people” had urged Putin to run for a new six-year term in March.Russia’s Central Election Commission said the election would for the first time be held over three days – from March 15-17.
With opposition politician Alexei Navalny in a prison colony and other critics abroad following a sustained crackdown on them, Putin faces no serious political competition at home.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Russians from all over the country and in different age categories had been in touch ahead of Putin’s question and answer session with the public next week to express their support.
“Very many people are calling on Putin to run for office and continue as head of state, declaring their full support. This is noticeable,” said Peskov.
In April 2021, after a referendum, Putin had signed into law constitutional amendments that included one allowing him to run for reelection twice more, potentially extending his presidency to 2036.
(With inputs from agencies)