Vladimir Putin was re-elected unopposed as president in March 2018. To many in Russia, Putin is now serving his fifth term as ruler, with the four years of Dmitri Medvedev’s presidency generally viewed as Putin’s regency.
Years of tinkering with electoral rules and eliminating competition had long prepared the field for an easy win. Putin’s victory was not much of a shock. The real question hanging over his new term is whether he will be able to maintain his famous majority support and hold the reins of power over his capricious elites.