By Emmanuel Nduka
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin is running for presidency in next year’s elections slated for March, news agencies reported on Friday.
The move will allow the Kremlin leader extend his decades-long grip on power.
According to state-run news agencies, Putin told Lieutenant Colonel Artyom Zhoga, a Russian military officer, about his decision to participate in the upcoming vote following an awards ceremony for army personnel at the Kremlin.
“We are very happy that the president heard our request that he run. All of Russia supports him,” Zhoga was quoted as saying by state-run news agency RIA Novosti.
While the Russian leader is yet to make a formal announcement of his intentions at the polls scheduled to take place between March 15-17, 2024, Putin will not face any major challengers, and will likely seek as big a mandate as possible to conceal domestic discord over the Ukraine conflict, analysts predict.
“Our President has never avoided and does not avoid responsible decisions.
“And today he has once again confirmed this. He confirmed that at the moment of a historic choice and a historic challenge,” said Valentina Matvienko, head of Russia’s upper house of parliament.