Putin Has The Chance To Become Russia’s Longest Serving Leader Since Stalin
Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that he may consider running for a record fourth presidential term in 2018, which would make him the country’s longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin.
Putin served two consecutive four-year terms starting in 2000, stepping down to become prime minister in 2008, as Russian presidents were only allowed to serve two consecutive terms at the time.
The ex-KGB (Russia’s version of the CIA) premier, however, was able to maintain control of the nation through his replacement and longtime ally, Dmitry Medvedev.
It was Medvedev who instilled a law that extended the presidential term to six years. Putin won a third term in 2012, despite a series of major protests inMoscow against his return to power.
Allegations of vote-rigging circulated while a teary-eyed Putin took the stage in Moscow to deliver a victory speech. Circulating the Internet at the time was a video of a man feeding voting cards into an automatic voting machine.
Putin won 62 percent of the vote, with his closest rival winning just 17 percent.
When asked Thursday if he would seek another term, Putin said he has not counted out the option, Daily Mail reports.
If he wins again, Putin will have been in either direct or indirect control of Russia for 24 years.
Many already compare Putin to a World War II-era dictator, and a fourth term would only add more evidence to these claims, as Joseph Stalin ruled Russia from 1929 until he died 24 years later in 1953.