Kremlin Hopes Putin Runs for Another Term

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, in a recent interview, expressed his hope that President Vladimir Putin would seek re-election in the upcoming March elections. This step would potentially extend Putin’s tenure as Russia’s leader until at least 2030.

Since assuming the presidency from Boris Yeltsin on the final day of 1999, Putin has surpassed the length of service of any Soviet leader since Josef Stalin, even exceeding Leonid Brezhnev’s 18 years in power. Putin celebrated his 71st birthday on October 7.

In a conversation with the student-run TV channel at Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), when queried about the characteristics of Putin’s successor, Peskov playfully suggested someone “the same” or “different but the same.”

Although Putin hasn’t formally declared his candidacy, Peskov voiced his firm belief in both Putin’s eventual participation and victory. “I am wholeheartedly convinced that he will continue as president,” he stated.

According to a report by Reuters earlier this month, Putin is anticipated to run in the March election, driven by a sense of duty to guide Russia through a particularly turbulent period.

For Putin, who reportedly maintains high approval ratings in Russia, the election would likely be a mere procedural step, given the backing he receives from the state apparatus, state media, and the lack of significant public opposition.

Yet, Putin faces a multitude of challenges unprecedented since the days of Mikhail Gorbachev and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. These include the Ukraine conflict, which has escalated tensions with the West to levels not seen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, severe Western sanctions impacting the Russian economy, and the handling of a mutiny attempt by influential mercenary Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash two months after the incident.

The Western perspective often portrays Putin as a war criminal and autocrat responsible for Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. Conversely, Putin views the conflict as a larger battle against the United States, which, according to the Kremlin, seeks to undermine Russia and exploit its vast natural resources.

Peskov commented on the global power shifts, observing the West’s struggle to retain its post-Cold War supremacy amid a noticeable decline. “The collective West will attempt anything to hold onto its fading leadership,” he said.

When asked about Russia’s future in ten years, Peskov envisioned a nation that is “stronger, wiser, and richer.”