President Vladimir V. Putin said on Friday that he would seek another term as Russia’s leader at an election scheduled for March 17, Russian state news agencies reported, setting in motion a campaign that is widely expected to result in another victory.
With the war in Ukraine as a backdrop, Mr. Putin’s announcement was laden with symbolism. According to Tass, a Russian state news agency, he made it during a military awards ceremony in the Kremlin, responding to a question posed by Artyom Zhoga, a Russian military officer and official from Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine.
It was a long-expected announcement, awaited by observers at least since the Russian Constitution was amended in 2020 to effectively allow Mr. Putin to stay in power until 2036. He has led Russia as either president or prime minister since 1999.
While there is little doubt about the outcome of the election, the coming vote carries more significance because it is the first presidential election since Mr. Putin, 71, ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Nikolay Petrov, an analyst with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said, “This is not an election, this is the re-election of the same leader.”
“Mr. Putin is essentially competing with himself — with the younger Putin,” Mr. Petrov added. “It is important for him to show that he is not in a worse place than he was 25 years ago.”
The invasion of Ukraine was perhaps the most consequential decision Mr. Putin had taken for Russia during his 23 years in power. He also ordered an unpopular mobilization campaign last year, in which hundreds of thousands of men were called up to fight in the war.
So far, the conflict has not figured heavily in Mr. Putin’s public appearances in the months running up to the election — a strategy that observers say is intentional.