Vladimir Putin has decided to run in the March presidential election, a move that will keep him in power until least 2030, as the Kremlin chief feels he must steer Russia through the most perilous period in decades, six sources said.

After defusing an armed mutiny by the leader of the Wagner mercenary group in June, Putin has moved to shore up support among his core base in the security forces, the armed forces and with regional voters outside Moscow, while Wagner has been brought firmly to heel.

Russian defense, weapons and overall budget spending has soared while Putin has made numerous public appearances, including the regions, over recent months.