Putin’s Bid to Extend Rule Is Approved by Russia’s Parliament

Constitutional changes could make Putin the longest-ruling leader in Russia’s modern history, surpassing Stalin

The amendment passed this week, however, could galvanize the Russian opposition as it provides a clear path for Mr. Putin to remain in power, said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political analysis firm R.Politik.

“The opposition received an important reason to question and attack Putin’s reform. All the hopes for change crashed yesterday,” Ms. Stanovaya said. “It will be a challenge for the Kremlin.”

A series of constitutional amendments Mr. Putin recently proposed are also a sign of his increasingly traditionalist, nationalistic policies, observers say. They include a provision effectively banning same-sex marriage and enshrining in the constitution the mention of Russians’ “faith in God.”

Mr. Putin’s rule “becomes more ideological and it fuels more radical, more nationalistic-minded forces, conservatives to push forward their agenda and to tighten the screws,” Ms. Stanovaya said.

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