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Russian President Strongly Hints Will Run For Reelection, Stops Short Of Announcing

Russian President Strongly Hints Will Run For Reelection, Stops Short Of Announcing

Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with factory workers in Nizhny Novgorod that he would participate in the presidential election in Russian Federation in 2018.

Putin's announcement came during his address to workers at an automobile factory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia's fifth largest city.

If he wins, which he nearly certainly will, Putin will have spent 24 years as Russian leader by the end of his term in 2024, including four years in which he was prime minister but still called the shots. His critics accuse him of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system and of illegally annexing Ukraine's Crimea, a move that has isolated Russian Federation.

While few doubted that Putin would run in the March 18 election, a delay in announcing his bid was seen as part of the Kremlin's political maneuvering.

"Two hours ago, the (Russian) defence minister reported to me that the operations on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates have been completed with the total rout of the terrorists", Putin said. If he wins what would be his fourth presidential term in March, he would be eligible to serve until 2024.

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Despite the Central Election Commission ruling him ineligible to stand, Navalny has organised mass protests and set up campaign headquarters across the country, hoping he can pressure the authorities into allowing him to stand.

Putin has been in power since 2000, acting as both president and prime minister.

Analysts note that Mr Putin's biggest challenge in the election will not be fending off his opponents - no one appears capable of beating him - but rather mobilising voters to turn out amid signs apathy is seeping in. Sobchak said on Wednesday that Putin would probably win "as always", but that she still planned to run to represent people who wanted change.

Past candidates such as Communist chief Gennady Zyuganov, ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and liberal leader Grigory Yavlinsky have all declared their intention to run.

"The United Russia party that has been founded by President Putin will support his candidacy".