July 18, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin has died, the Kremlin confirmed on Sunday. The Kremlin said in a statement broadcast on all TV and radio channels: “President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, has passed away due to natural causes on Sunday.”
The monumental news folllows days of speculation regarding his whereabouts and health, after a flurry of suspicious activity outside the Kremlin. The former Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has taken tempore control of Russia, RIA Novosti has announced.

The extraordinary news comes after The New York Times reported that Putin was receiving medical care for a long term illness, on Thursday. On Friday, Russia state media Russia 1 confirmed that Putin was “receiving temporary medical care.” According to a report by Axios, Putin was suffering from advanced cancer.

The Russian Duma held an emergency meeting on Sunday evening. According to a Kremlin statement, Mikhail Mishustin, the former Prime Minister, will become President “for the time being.” Mishustin, a relatively unknown name in globally, has been serving as Prime Minister since 2020, after the resignation of Dmitry Medvedeev. Mishustin has been described as a quiet ally of Putin.

It is unclear how the death of the commander-in-chief of the Russian military will affect the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said it was aware of the situation and was monitoring developments. It said: “Russian missile fire has continued around the area of Donetsk.” The Ukranian Defense Ministry refused to comment on whether they believe the war could come to an end.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s Office said in a statement Sunday night: “We can confirm that Russian President Vladimir Putin has died. The United States and its allies are monitoring the situation inside Russia, and along its borders.”

Vladimir Putin has been the leader of Russia since 2000, when he took control from Boris Yeltsin. Putin’s decades of rule saw Russia begin to develop into a more pro-Western nation, before spiralling back into an anti-Western power. Putin rule, which started democratically, saw the end of democracy in Russia, and it was under his rule, that Russia invaded Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine.