The constitution of the Russian Federation is clear: no president may remain in office for more than two consecutive terms.
So come 2024 Vladimir Putin should – in theory – retire.
But few believe that the man who has ruled Russia for 20 years will find it easy to let go of the reins of power, even if he wants to.
So how might he hold on?
There are three basic scenarios that are chewed over in the salons, bars, and think tanks of Moscow. Which one could be in favour in the black box that is the Kremlin is anyone’s guess – but that’s half the fun of Kremlinology.
The first is known in as “Castling”, and it has the benefit of precedent.
In 2008, when Mr Putin was coming to the end of his…