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#AskIvo: How Long Is Putin Planning to Stay in Power in Russia?

January 25, 2020

Hi, I’m Ivo Daalder, the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and this is #AskIvo, a series where you get to ask me questions on global issues of concerned to you. Colleen asks on Twitter, “How long is Putin planning to stay in power in Russia?” That’s a great question, Colleen and the short answer is, for as long as he can. Here’s what happened. Last week in his State of the Nation Address, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward a series of constitutional changes that are meant to scramble up the political situation inside Russia. Putin is barred by the constitution from serving another term of president after his current term ends in 2024. And as a result, he’s trying to find a way to stay in power. One thing he’s doing is making the once ornamental State Council a much more powerful political body in Russia, and the idea is presumably that he might become its new chairman when a new president is elected in 2024. Putin has played this game before. Back in 2008, he stepped down after two terms as president and became prime minister. He made his lackey, Dmitry Medvedev, the new president, but really continued to control what was happening in Russia from behind the scenes as prime minister. Then in 2012 he became president once again and is now serving the second of his two terms as president of Russia. So what does all of this mean for the future of power in Russia? Well there’s one constant in Putin’s Russia, which is that Putin has accumulated, maintained, and strengthened his hold on power from the very first day he became president on December 31, 1999. He is now the longest-serving Russian leader except for Joseph Stalin. His goal is to beat Stalin’s record and he’s going to do that by changing up the constitutional makeup of Russia to ensure that no matter who is president or prime minister, that the power in Russia belongs to one man, Vladimir Putin. That’s what autocrats do. So while Putin is stepping down as president, he’s not really stepping away from power. Thank you for watching. Wanna ask me a question? Shoot me a tweet with the hashtag, #AskIvo.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sergei Matveev January 24, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    It's a typical primitive american cliche about Russia that the old Cold war worrier Ivo Daalder is trying to put into average Joe Sixpack! The american information war in action! I wonder if he ever read even the Russian Constitution?!

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