Author: Ola Cichowlas, Mikhail Fishman

(By Ola Cichowlas and Mikhail Fishman. The Moscow Times, Dec. 8, 2016, p. 2. Complete text:) Every time President Vladimir Putin hints about leaving, the world listens. Rumors have long been circulating around Moscow that Russia’s great leader may, in fact, be considering leaving office. Russia’s 2018 presidential election, Putin’s fourth in the last 17 years, is just 15 months away.

So when Putin unexpectedly told gathered workers at the [Eterno] plant in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk that he hoped to "successfully wind up his career," local political gossip went into overdrive...

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