President for life? Vladimir Putin has no competitors: Kremlin on 2024 polls

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If Russian president Vladimir Putin decides to run in the 2024 presidential election, no one will be able to compete with him, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “The president has not yet announced that he will nominate his candidacy,” Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russia’s RBC business news service reported.

“But if we assume that the president stands as a candidate, then it is obvious that there can be no real competition for the president at this current stage,” the spokesman said adding that Vladimir Putin “enjoys the absolute support of the population”.

Vladimir Putin- a former KGB agent- has been in power in Russia as president or prime minister for more than two decades. Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year has become the biggest challenge of his rule ushering the gravest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. As the war in Ukraine has not gone according to Russian president’s plan, he faced a brief mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin who later died in a plane crash.

Following the invasion, the West has slapped the toughest ever sanctions on Russia’s $2.1 trillion economy.

Earlier, Chinese president Xi Jinping told Putin in March that he was convinced Russians would support the Kremlin chief in next year’s presidential election. Opinion polls show Vladimir Putin remains by far the most popular politician in Russia. In August, his approval rating stood at 80%, higher than before the Ukraine war, according to the Levada-Centre. Around 70% of the population support the Russian invasion in Ukraine, though opposition politicians and some Western diplomats say such polls cannot be trusted.