Experts predict exact date Putin will make his next presidential move

Vladimir Putin will likely start his presidential campaign in mid-December, experts believe.

The Russian president hasn’t yet announced he will run again for the presidency in next year’s election.

However, the fact that in April 2021 Putin signed a law allowing him to run for re-election twice more in his lifetime strongly suggests he is poised for it.

And experts at US think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believe the announcement will come on December 14.

The think tank’s latest assessment of the war in Ukraine noted that Russian Communist Party Head Gennady Zyuganov said on November 28 that his country’s Council is set to announce the start of the presidential campaign on December 13.

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But Putin won’t launch his candidacy just yet, the ISW wrote, likely waiting instead until the following day.

The ISW wrote: “Russian President Vladimir Putin will reportedly hold his annual live ‘Direct Line’ forum and annual press conference in tandem on December 14, and the official start of the campaign on December 13 further suggests that the Kremlin plans to use the tandem event as the rollout for Putin’s presidential campaign.”

Direct Line is a political programme aired in Russia every year on various TV channels such as Russia-1 and RT as well as radio stations.

Earlier this month, Mr Peskov said he “sincerely wanted to believe” Putin would announce his participation in the election.

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Asked by the student television channel of Moscow State Institute for International Relations what the next president after Putin should be like, he said: “The same. Or different but the same.

“Putin has not yet announced his intention to run but I sincerely want to believe that he will do that, and I have no doubt that he will win the elections. I have no doubt that he will continue to be president.”

The political event is directed by the Kremlin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, and sees Putin answering questions from Russian citizens about politics, policy and current events.

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As noted by the ISW, the Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed that Russian Presidential Administration First Deputy Head Sergei Kiriyenko held this month a closed meeting in which he “delivered directives for strengthening preparations for elections”.

Among them were indications to heads of occupation administrations to issue Russian passports to 85 percent of residents in occupied Ukraine before the vote in March – a move aimed at “falsely claim large voter turnout and legitimise the Kremlin’s control of occupied territories”, the ISW believes.

This comes days after an investigation by the European Broadcasting Union spoke of people living in occupied Ukraine being forced to accept Russian passports in order to receive medical help.

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