The amendments to Russia’s 1993 constitution came into force on Saturday after gaining the support of 77.92 percent of people who cast their ballots in a nationwide vote. Turnout was just below 68 percent.

The constitutional amendments protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, set children as a priority of Russia's domestic policy and include obligations to support and protect culture as the unique heritage of Russia's multi-ethnic nation. Other amendments confirm that Russia safeguards historical truth and honours the efforts of the defenders of the motherland. 

The amendments envision a limit of two six-year terms for the President of the Russian Federation. The provision applies to the president at the time the legal changes enter into force; not taking into account the number of terms previously served in this position, thus paving the way for President Putin to run again after his current term ends in 2024.

The changes also aim to protect Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, prohibiting any attempts or calls to alienate part of its territory.

According to the reports, Putin said,"I am absolutely convinced that we are doing the right thing, that we are adopting amendments to the current constitution. These amendments will strengthen our nationhood and will create the necessary conditions for the progressive development of our country in the coming decades."