This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
GB
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 13th April 2018 > SIX MORE YEARS OF VLADIMIR PUTIN

SIX MORE YEARS OF VLADIMIR PUTIN

In Russia, Putin’s reign will continue until 2024 and maybe beyond. What will that mean for America—and the world?
ALEXEI DRUZHININ/AFP/GETTY

It WAS CLOSE TO MIDNIGHT ON MARCH 18, and a triumphant Vladimir Putin stood at a podium at his campaign headquarters near Red Square. Dressed in a jacket and open-necked shirt, Russia’s longtime leader looked weary but satisfied. He had just secured a fourth presidential term in a landslide election, extending his rule for another six years, until 2024.

Undeterred by the freezing weather, his supporters in central Moscow waved flags and chanted, “Russia! Russia!” Despite allegations of widespread ballot-stuffing, demoralized opposition activists stayed off the streets. For Putin, it was the end to an almost perfect day.

As TV crews from across the world jostled for position, the Russian president spoke about a range of issues, from Ukraine to China to the nerve agent attack in southern England on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who once spied for Britain’s MI6. Putin dismissed British allegations that he had ordered the hit, which left Skripal and his daughter hospitalized in critical condition. “Nonsense,” he said. “It’s unthinkable that Russia would do this.”

And then, at the end of the news conference, a journalist asked Putin something that was on everyone’s mind: Was this his final presidential term? The former KGB man scoffed at the question. “Am I supposed to sit here until I’m 100?” he replied. “What you are saying sounds slightly ridiculous.”

Is it? Russia’s constitution forbids anyone from serving more than two consecutive presidential terms, but it says nothing about subsequent periods in office. Putin served two presidential terms, from 2000 to 2008, before swapping jobs with Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister. And he remained Russia’s most powerful politician before returning to the Kremlin in 2012. There is, theoretically at least, nothing but old age to stop him from pulling the same trick again in 2030, when he will be 77.

Not surprisingly, Putin’s response did little to console his critics—especially those abroad. His re-election comes as Russia and the West continue to face off over the wars in Syria and Ukraine, as well as accusations of Kremlin plots to interfere in elections in the United States and Europe. Will the next six years be more of the same? Putin is far from predictable; nothing he said or did before his last electoral victory indicated that Russia would seize Crimea or send mercenaries to support the embattled regime in Damascus. But some analysts say Russia’s president has no intention of backing down in his increasingly risky standoff with the United States and its allies; his domestic popularity and strongman image largely depend on his confrontations with the West.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Newsweek International - 13th April 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 13th April 2018
£4.99
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 0.65 per issue
SAVE
87%
£32.99
Or 3299 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only £ 0.94 per issue
SAVE
80%
£3.99
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Newsweek International

SIX MORE YEARS It was close to midnight on March 18th and a triumphant Vladimir Putin stood at a podium at his campaign headquarters near Red Square. Dressed in a jacket and open-necked shirt, Russia’s longtime leader looked weary but satisfied. He had just secured a fourth presidential term in a landslide election, extending his rule for another six years, until 2024 and maybe beyond. What will that mean for America and the world?