Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his candidacy for the 2024 elections, seeking his fifth presidential term, which could extend his rule to 2030.
The announcement, made after a ceremony at the Kremlin, suggests Putin's intent to maintain a firm hold on power, either as head of state or prime minister, until at least 2030.
The upcoming elections on March 17, 2024, will not only mark Putin's bid for continued leadership but also the participation of residents in the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.
These areas, annexed by Russia during the conflict, will be part of the presidential elections for the first time, despite previous condemnations of Russian-backed officials' organised local elections in these regions.
Having held power for over two decades, Putin's political journey began in 1999 when he became acting prime minister, eventually being handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin.
After serving two consecutive four-year terms, Putin stepped aside in 2008, endorsing Dmitry Medvedev as president while taking on the role of prime minister.
However, he returned to the presidency in 2012 and, with changes to the law in 2021, could potentially extend his rule until 2036. At 71, Putin's quest for prolonged political influence extends well into his mid-80s, marking a potential third decade in power.