As Russia gears up for the 2024 presidential elections, attention centers on whether Vladimir Putin will seek a fifth term. While candidates like Sergei Shoigu, Sergey Naryshkin, and Alexander Novak are speculated, Putin’s preference remains a closely guarded secret. Despite constitutional amendments allowing Putin to contest, the prospects of an alternative leader seem limited.
The liberal voices, such as Alexei Navalny, are either imprisoned or disqualified. Parties with parliamentary presence may nominate candidates, but their nationalist stance, especially on Ukraine, suggests little policy divergence.
The historical tension between Westerners and Slavophiles persists, but Putin’s confrontational approach since 2007 makes a significant policy shift unlikely, irrespective of the leader. The Russian electorate’s response to Western sanctions and a confrontational stance suggests support for continuity rather than a reversal of policies.