- Though Russian President Vladimir Putin is assured an election win on March 18, his fourth term will usher in a period of deep challenges for Russia and his continued rule.
- Putin’s pledge to maintain stability is facing economic and demographic shifts that will ripple throughout society and test compliance with Putin’s government.
- Thinking of the longer term, the Kremlin is considering a spate of reforms and has allowed political discourse to return to Russia, though each maneuver is not without its risks.
- Putin, his cultlike government and the Russian people are starting to consider what life in Russia will look like after he leaves the political stage.
(MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images)