How Russia’s Putin Is Planning for Permanent Power After His Presidency

How Russia’s Putin Is Planning for Permanent Power After His Presidency
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the State Council in Moscow, Jan. 15, 2020 (pool photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko of AP).

MOSCOW—Svetlana Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin’s daughter, recalled in her memoir that before the tyrant drew his final breath, he cast a menacing glance at the confidantes and relatives gathered around him, then raised his arm as if to point to something or threaten someone. He may have been attempting to articulate his final request or even designate a successor, but no one ever decoded the gesture. Stalin left no formal plans for succession despite having ruled the Soviet Union for three decades. After his death, three senior officials—Nikita Khrushchev, Georgy Malenkov and Lavrenty Beria—quickly entered into a fierce power struggle to lead the Soviet state.

Vladimir Putin wants to avoid that kind of political uncertainty after his presidency is up. That is why last month, he suddenly announced a shake-up of his Cabinet and a set of far-reaching constitutional reforms in Russia that lay the groundwork for his political future after his presidential term ends in 2024. Just hours after the announcement, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned, and a mostly unknown bureaucrat was appointed to replace him.

The proposed constitutional amendments are currently being finalized and fast-tracked through the Duma, Russia’s legislature. They stipulate that Putin’s time as president is coming to an end and that he will not be able to serve as president after 2024, even if he leaves office for a term. Future presidents will not be allowed to serve more than two six-year terms, even non-consecutively.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review