Putin himself forward again
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday said he would seek re-election next year in a race he is poised to win easily, putting him on track to become the nation’s longest-serving ruler since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
Mr Putin’s approval ratings regularly top 80 per cent. While few doubted the 65year-old would run, the delay in his declaring so fuelled doubts. Mr Putin has been in power in Russia since 2000. He served two presidential terms during 2000-08, became prime minister then reclaimed the presidential office in 2012.