president putin
© Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images
After a long wait, Vladimir Putin has confirmed that he will seek re-election in Russia's presidential election next year. He made the announcement in Nizhny Novgorod at a concert dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Gorky Automobile Plant. Meduza collects some of the early reactions from Russians pouring in on social media.

Many of the comments on Twitter highlight the near quarter of a century Putin will have spent in power, following his likely victory in next year's election.

Woohoo! Putin will stick around until 2024, when I'll turn 27. My whole life under one ruler! Feel that stability!

He wants to stay in power for 21 years. In my view, that's a tad too much. I invite everyone not to consent.
Alexey Navalny, the opposition activist who is trying to fight a federal law that prohibits him from running for elected office as a convicted felon, is naturally opposed to Putin's reelection as president. Navalny is also challenging claims made before Putin's announcement that all auto workers in Nizhny Novgorod support Putin's candidacy.

A photo from my rally in Nizhny Novgorod. Don't let that crook Putin deceive you. GAZ [the Gorky Automobile Plant] is for us!
One of the first state officials to comment on Putin's announcement, Senator Elena Mizulina welcomed the president's candidacy as a necessary response to Russia's growing geopolitical struggles.

His candidacy for the Russian presidency is especially important and correct in the complex geopolitical situation in which Russia finds itself today.
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, also endorsed Putin in strong terms, saying, "We have developed with Putin and our citizens' well being has grown. No matter the challenges we've faced as a nation, the president has overcome them effectively. We've made huge advances in foreign policy: the world has begun to respect our country and take it seriously, and this is also his achievement."

Writing on his Telegram channel, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov embraced Putin's announcement, saying that the president "doesn't have the right to abandon the Russian people and state."

A day after the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban Russia's national team from competing in the 2018 Winter Games, Putin's announcement had certain Olympic undertones for some Internet users in Russia.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, said of Putin's reelection bid, "Of course, the president must be the one who decides how to proceed. But I understand that his decision is based in part on the fact that there's still a lot of important work that needs to be done. So let him participate in the elections for another term."

Vladimir Putin will compete in Russia's presidential race under a neutral flag.
According to the news agency Interfax, Putin says he hasn't yet decided who will run his reelection campaign. "I'll think about it some more," he told reporters.