Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his participation in the presidential election in Russia 2018. He made a corresponding statement at a meeting-concert devoted to the 85th anniversary of the Gorky Automobile Plant.

“I announce my candidacy for the post of President of the Russian Federation,” Putin said.

Soon the reaction of his political opponents appeared.

"Vladimir Putin is on the right path to a laughing stock," Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos company, said commenting on the decision of the Russian president to run the fourth term as head of state.

“It's ridiculous and bitter. If he had left in 2008 he would have remained in the memory of people with a bold plus sign (despite the Yukos). If he left now he would go as a contradictory figure. But currently he in on the right path to a laughing stock. I am sorry for the country,” Khodorkovsky wrote on Twitter.

Oppositionist Aleksei Navalny indicated Putin’s intention to be in office for 21 years.

“In my opinion, this is too much. I propose not to agree. The best illustration of how the elections in Russia are organized is that Putin announced his candidacy in Nizhny Novgorod, and a kilometer away from him was a prison cell with the head of my campaign headquarters Leonid Volkov inside. Who was arrested for conducting an election campaign,” Navalny wrote on Twitter.

TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak, who intends to take part in the 2018 elections in Russia, commented on Putin's decision saying: "Did someone doubt that it would be different?" In her opinion, Putin will remain in power even "six years later, and while his health allows."

According to information from social networks, the employees of Gorky Automobile Plant were given a "tangible" bonus of 200 rubles (about 4 USD) for expecting Putin and " chanting".

Putin, who is now 65, has been in charge of Russia since 2000. He spent 13 years as the country's president, and another 4 years as a head of the Russian government.

Source: Radio Liberty