Russian President Vladimir Putin said this Friday (8) that he will participate in the 2024 presidential elections, running for his fifth term in office. The day before, the Russian Federation Council (equivalent to the Russian Senate) confirmed that the presidential elections will be held on March 17, 2024.
Putin’s announcement was made during a conversation with Commander Artem Zhoga at a ceremony in the Kremlin to award medals to soldiers who participated in the war in Ukraine.
“We are very glad that the president listened to our request for nomination, all of Russia supports him,” Zhoga said, noting that military personnel on the front lines were worried and questioned whether Putin would run in the elections.
According to Kommersant’s Kremlin correspondent, Andrei Kolesnikov, when all the award winners at the ceremony approached the president in an informal conversation, Lieutenant Colonel Artem Zhoga asked if Vladimir Putin would confirm his candidacy for re-election, to which the president agreed.
Later, a video of the conversation between Putin and Commander Zhoga was released by the Kremlin. Commenting on the confirmation, Putin said it was impossible not to adopt this decision and thanked the support of the military personnel present.
“I will not hide that at different times I had different thoughts. But now you are right, now is the time to make a decision. I will run for the post of President of the Russian Federation,” Putin said.
Elections without dispute
The confirmation of his candidacy is not surprising, but Putin had not yet made a statement confirming his willingness to stand for re-election, avoiding answering questions on the topic.
The election should confirm his fifth term at the head of the Kremlin, as there is no viable opposition that threatens the current head of state, who maintains high approval in the country.
According to a survey by the Levada Center institute, released in October this year, Vladimir Putin has the approval of around 80% of the population. The level of popularity was 5% higher than the index in September 2022, when the announcement of a mobilization of civilians for the war in Ukraine caused a drop. At the end of February 2022, when the president announced the start of the Ukraine war, his approval rating increased.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho