Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a New Year message, wishing Russians "changes for the better.” He mentioned "all of those who are working now, fulfilling their military or professional duty” in his "special wishes". He thanked Russians for "believing in themselves and our country." He also wished for "peace and prosperity to our great Russia, the dear and only one." Putin has been in power since 1999 and seeks a historic fourth term in March. He is widely expected to win the vote that would extend his rule until 2024 and make him the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin.