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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Dec. 8 that he will seek a fifth term as the President of the Russian Federation. The election will be held over March 15-17, 2024, and the winner will be inaugurated in early May. RT reports that Putin made his remarks at a ceremony where he awarded Hero of Russia medals to servicemen who had taken part in the military operation in Ukraine. Putin was asked by “Hero of the Donetsk People’s Republic” Artyom Zhoga, if he would run in 2024, and he replied in the affirmative. RT reports:

“The footage from the ceremony shows Zhoga shaking hands with Putin and telling him that the entire Donbass would like him to participate in the election.”

The Kremlin reported Zhoga raising the first question of the discussion: “Mr. President, you have done so much for our Donbass….” The upper house of the Russia’s legislature, the Federation Council “has set the date for the presidential election in the Russian Federation. On behalf of our people, of Donbass as a whole and our reunified lands, I would like to ask you to take part in this election. After all, there is so much work that needs to be done.

“It is thanks to your actions and your decision that we have obtained our freedom and the right to choose. We want to take part in the election of President of the Russian Federation, and you are our President. There is so much work ahead of us in terms of integration into the social fabric, as well as in economic terms, and also in terms of the way we live our everyday lives as civilians. We would like to do this under your leadership.

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