MOSCOW—After consulting a schedule consisting of council meetings, appointing Gazprom executives to ministry posts, and conducting military inspections, Russian President Vladimir Putin was forced to adjust his personal timetable Wednesday and move up his election victory by a couple of days. “Between meeting Chinese diplomats and handling Syria, things are just too crazy next week for me to deal with winning the presidency,” said Putin, noting that as Thursdays were usually a slower day for him in general, he should have no problem winning a mid- or late-afternoon presidential election. “I’m completely swamped with planning and denying this whole assassination thing, so there’s no way that I’ll have time to go to celebrations and give triumphant speeches. To be honest, I’ve been procrastinating on winning this one anyway. I just hate spending a couple hours adjusting my margin of victory down to believable levels, but I admit it’s better than dealing with too many protests.” At press time, an increasingly exasperated Putin insisted this was the last time he would put up with “the expensive, inconvenient time sink” of even holding elections.