The people of Russia are going to the polls this week not to elect a new leader – President Vladimir Putin’s current mandate runs for another four years – but, rather, in order to change the Russian Constitution so that Mr Putin can continue to be re-elected for decades to come.

The outcome of the referendum is not in doubt: Printed copies of the new version of the Constitution with all the proposed amendments included have already gone on sale in Moscow’s bookshops.

Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST’s best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content