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Putin: Tracing Russian leader’s 25-year reign

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The voting process in Russia is ongoing, with incumbent President Vladimir Putin widely anticipated to secure his fifth term as the country’s leader.

Putin is running as an independent candidate.

According to Al Jazeera, other candidates are perceived as “figureheads” and included in the process solely to show Putin’s popularity.

The three-day voting started on Friday, March 15, 2024.

However, based on the 2020 constitutional amendment that invalidated his previous terms, the upcoming March 15–17 election will be considered his first one.

112 million people aged 18 and above in Russia are eligible to vote.

People in annexed Crimea and occupied parts of Ukraine will also vote.

Putin has served four terms.

If he wins, the 71-year-old is anticipated to hold power for an additional six years, courtesy of the 2020 constitutional amendment.

Putin, born on October 7, 1952 in Leningrad, Russia, is a Russian intelligence officer and politician.

He held the position of President of Russia from 1999 to 2008 and again from 2012 onwards.

Additionally, he has also served as the country’s prime minister in 1999 and from 2008 to 2012.

Below is a timeline of Putin’s 25 years as a leader of the Eastern Europe federation:

  • Putin has an extensive background in foreign intelligence, having spent 15 years working for the KGB (Committee for State Security).
  • Shortly after, Putin began working as an advisor to Anatoly Sobchak, who was the first democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg.
  • By 1994, he had ascended to the position of first deputy mayor.
  • In 1996, Putin relocated to Moscow and became a part of the presidential staff, serving as the deputy to Pavel Borodin, the chief administrator of the Kremlin (The Kremlin is a fortified complex located in Moscow, Russia. It serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Russia. It is located at the heart of Russian political power and government).
  • In July 1998, President Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin as the director of the Federal Security Service
  • Shortly after, Putin assumed the role of secretary of the influential Security Council.
  • Yeltsin, in his quest for a successor to carry on his legacy, selected Putin as prime minister in 1999.

As reported by Voice of America, Yeltsin said in a televised speech on August 9, 1999, “I have decided to now name the person who is, in my opinion, able to consolidate society and, drawing support from the broadest political forces, to ensure the continuation of reforms in Russia.

“He will be able to unite around himself those who are to renew Great Russia in the new 21st century.”

  • According to Britannica, Putin’s public approval ratings experienced a significant boost when he successfully executed a highly organised military operation against secessionist rebels in Chechnya, despite his previous lack of recognition.
  • Tired of Yeltsin’s unpredictable actions, the Russian public admired Putin’s calmness and resolute nature in challenging situations, as per Britannica.
  • Putin’s backing of the new electoral bloc, Unity, played a crucial role in securing its triumph in the December parliamentary elections.
  • Yeltsin made the unexpected decision to step down on December 31, 1999, appointing Putin as the acting president.
  • Putin secured a decisive victory in the March 2000 elections, garnering approximately 53 per cent of the vote.
  • Putin was reelected in March 2004 after overseeing an economy that experienced growth following a prolonged recession in the 1990s.
  • In the December 2007 parliamentary elections, United Russia, Putin’s party, secured a significant majority of seats.
  • In 2008, Putin selected Dmitry Medvedev as his successor due to a constitutional provision that required him to step down.
  • Shortly after Medvedev’s victory in the March 2008 presidential election, Putin announced that he would be assuming the role of chairman of the United Russia party.
  • As anticipated, Medvedev wasted no time in nominating Putin as the country’s Prime Minister shortly after assuming office on May 7, 2008. The appointment was confirmed by Russia’s parliament the next day.
  • In September 2011, Medvedev announced that he and Putin would switch positions.
  • This decision put an end to speculation about Medvedev running for a second term.
  • On March 4, 2012, Putin was elected to a third term as Russia’s president.
  • Prior to his inauguration, Putin stepped down as United Russia chairman, transferring control of the party to Medvedev.
  • On May 7, 2012, he took office as president and nominated Medvedev as Prime Minister.
  • On March 18, 2018, Putin secured a significant majority of the vote in an election that marked the beginning of his fourth term.
  • In January 2020, Putin announced his intention to bring about modifications that would eliminate term limits for presidents.
  • Medvedev promptly resigned as prime minister.
  • Putin signed the law that could extend his time in office until 2036, allowing him to run for the presidency twice more in his lifetime.
  • According to The Guardian UK, officially, the new law limits Russian citizens to two presidential terms in their lifetime.
  • It also outlawed the shuffling between the presidency and the role of prime minister that Putin employed earlier in his career.
  • However, according to the law, terms served before it entered into force are not counted. This means that Putin’s previous four terms, including the current one, are not considered, allowing him to potentially serve two more terms.
  • If he holds onto power until 2036, his time in office will exceed even that of Joseph Stalin, who governed the Soviet Union for 29 years.
  • This would make Putin the longest-serving leader in Moscow since the days of the Russian empire.
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Foreign

We’ve not received any external attack – Iran official insists

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Iran officials have said the country has no plan for immediate retaliation against Israel. A senior Iranian official

Iran officials have said the country has no plan for immediate retaliation against Israel.

A senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday, hours after sources said Israel launched an attack on Iranian soil.

Iran has continued to deny the attack which was launched early Friday morning, targeting its nuclear station in Isfahan.

The attack, according to reports, was similarly targeted at a military site and calibrated to avoid damage and further Iranian aggression.

“The foreign source of the incident has not been confirmed,” a senior official said, according to the Guardian UK.

“We have not received any external attack, and the discussion leans more towards infiltration than attack,” the Iranian official said on condition of anonymity.

According to Reuters, an Iranian analyst also told state TV on Friday that mini drones shot down by air defences in Isfahan were flown by “infiltrators from inside Iran”.

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US vetoes UN resolution to recognize Palestine as State

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The United States has blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have recognised a Palestinian state

The United States has blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have recognised a Palestinian state.

CNN reports that 12 members of the Security Council on Thursday had voted in favor of the resolution, while two countries, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, abstained.

However, the United States vetoed the resolution.

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, criticized the US veto, saying it was “unfair, immoral, and unjustified, and defies the will of the international community”.

According to him, the international community strongly supports the State of Palestine obtaining full membership in the United Nations.

But Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the US for vetoing what he called a “shameful proposal.”

“The proposal to recognize a Palestinian state, more than 6 months after the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and after the sexual crimes and other atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists was a reward for terrorism”, Katz wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the US veto.

Vedant Patel, deputy spokesperson for the US State Department had announced earlier Thursday that the US would vote against the Security Council resolution.

He said the US has “been very clear, consistently, that premature actions in New York, even with the best intentions, will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people,” referring to the headquarters of the United Nations.

Palestinian attempts for recognition as a full member state began in 2011. They are currently a non-member observer state, a status that was granted in November 2012.

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EU leaders agree to new sanctions on Iran after Israel attack

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The EU has agreed to expand sanctions on Iranian producers of drones and missiles following Tehran’s unprecedented

The EU has agreed to expand sanctions on Iranian producers of drones and missiles following Tehran’s unprecedented attack on Israel.

“It’s very important to do everything to isolate Iran,” European Council President Charles Michel said.

The bloc already has multiple sanctions in place against Iran, including for selling drones to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine.

The EU’s new sanctions were agreed upon during a summit in Brussels which marked the first meeting between the bloc’s 27 leaders since Iran’s direct assault on Israel on Saturday, involving more than 300 missiles and drones fired from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen which were mostly downed by Israel and its allies.

Tehran has maintained it was retaliation for a presumed Israeli air strike on its consulate in Syria on 1 April, in which 13 people were killed.

Israel – which appears to have only countered with a diplomatic offensive so far – has not ruled out a response.

But world leaders have continued to urge restraint, in a bid to prevent a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Israel has called on its allies to sanction Tehran’s missile programme and for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – a major military and political force in Iran – to be designated a terrorist organisation, something the US has done but the EU and UK have not.

The EU already has a wide range of measures in place which target Iran over its human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation activities and military support for Russia.

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Drones, missile attack legitimate responese against Israel – Iran

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Drones, missile attack legitimate responese against Israel – Iran

Iran has said its attack on Israel was a “legitimate response” to Israel’s airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

An Israeli airstrike on Iran’s embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus had killed two senior members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In retaliation, Iran had sent a barrage of drones and missiles towards Israel on Saturday but they were intercepted.

However, the spokesperson of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kanani, said Iran “does not seek to escalate tensions in the region.”

According to Kanani: “Iran’s action was completely legitimate and in accordance with the United Nations Charter granting states the right to self-defense.”

He added that the United States and the international community at large should “appreciate” Iran’s “responsible behavior.”

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Iran’s missiles, drone attack declaration of war – Israeli president

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Iran’s missiles, drone attack declaration of war – Israeli president

The President of Israel, Isaac Herzog has said Tel Aviv was “considering all options” following Iran’s overnight missile and drone attacks.

Herzog said Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel was a “declaration of war.”

Speaking with Sky News, Herzog said: “Every one of us should look and ask, what would we do had we been attacked in such an aggressive way as we were attacked last night.”

When asked if Israel would retaliate the attack against Iran, the Israeli president said they are “considering all options.”

“This is like a real war … this is a declaration of war.”

Herzog added that he was “happy that we are part of an incredible coalition of nations that have been part and parcel in preventing most of these missiles and drones and weapons to come into Israel.”

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Trump’s hush-money trial begins

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Trump’s hush-money trial begins

Former President Donald Trump makes history on Monday, as he becomes the first current or former president in the nation’s history to go on trial.

Fox News reports that Trump’s hush-money trial, which will get underway in a New York City courtroom, will have an instant impact on his 2024 election rematch with President Joe Biden.

The former president is being tried on 34 state felony charges and is accused of falsifying business records in relation to hush-money payments during the 2016 election, which he made to Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about his alleged affair with the adult film actress.

The former President has repeatedly denied falsifying business records, as well as the alleged sexual encounter with Daniels.

Trump’s legal team has tried numerous times, unsuccessfully, to further delay or postpone the trial.

The unprecedented trial is the first of Trump’s four criminal cases, including two for his alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden and another for mishandling classified documents — to go to trial.

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