Vladimir Putin Projected to Easily Win 5th Term as Russian President, Granting Him Power Until 2030

Putin is the longest-serving Kremlin leader since dictator Josef Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953

ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty  Vladimir Putin
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin is projected to have easily won a fifth term as Russian president, putting him on track to have the role until at least 2030, according to multiple outlets.

Shortly after the polls closed, the head of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) said Putin had secured 87.9% of the vote, with 24.4% of the count in, per CNN.

He is the longest-serving Kremlin leader since dictator Josef Stalin, who led the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953.

The 71-year-old autocrat's reelection comes amid his ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022.

U.S. officials said in August that the total number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded since the war began was nearing 500,000 and according to the nonprofit group Save the Children, an average of 42 civilians have been killed or injured daily in the two years of war.

Related: 2 Years After Russia’s Invasion, Ukraine Is Still Standing Strong — but the Fight Isn’t Over

Putin previously worked as a foreign intelligence officer for the Russian spy agency KGB, ultimately turning to politics in 1991.

He was appointed president in August 1999 by then-President Boris Yeltsin, who resigned on New Year's Eve, thrusting Putin into an acting president role until his formal election a few months later.

Related: Vladimir Putin Is Running for a Fifth Term as Russia's President, Which Would Keep Him in Power Through 2030

Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Vladimir Putin
Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Vladimir Putin

At that time, Russia's constitution dictated that no president could serve more than two consecutive, four-year terms, meaning he would have to leave the role in 2008.

But upon the end of his two terms, Putin endorsed Dmitry Medvedev for president. Once Medvedev was elected, he agreed to install Putin as prime minister, allowing him to continue pulling strings within the Kremlin despite not having the top title.

Medvedev also shepherded the first major amendments to Russia's constitution — among them, one that changed the length of presidential terms from four to six years, effective in 2012. That same year, Putin would reclaim the seat, and was reelected in 2018.

Related: Vladimir Putin Could Remain in Power Until 2036 After Disputed Vote Changes Russia Constitution

He would have termed out in 2024, but in 2020, Russia voted to again amend its constitution, expanding presidential term limits once more and making it possible for Putin to legally remain in power as the country's leader until 2036.

Should he remain in office until 2036, Putin would by then be in his 80s — and have been in power in Russia for nearly half his life.

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In recent years, the invasion of Ukraine has been both his focus and, some critics say, his undoing, as the war drags into its third year and has triggered increasingly severe sanctions against Russia.

Global tensions with Russia have been further compounded by the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at the age of 47 in February. Navalny, a longtime Putin critic, was serving a 19-year sentence on extremism charges when Russian officials said he died after taking a walk around the Arctic penal colony where he was being held. Many are skeptical about the circumstances surrounding Navalny's sudden death, including the U.S. government.

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