Cith eight of the 11 candidates authorized by the Electoral Commission for the elections from March 15 to 17 still collecting signatures, and only three with an official candidacy, the population’s interest in the campaign is scarce, with the prevailing opinion that Putin will continue in power, which he occupies. since 1999, as President or Prime Minister.

Here is a profile of the candidates already on the ground, according to several Russian media, including the Aficha Daily website.

Boris Nadezhdin

Aged 60 and a member of the Civil Initiative, he is the only presidential candidate who has spoken out against the “special military operation”, that is, the war in Ukraine, in addition to repeatedly criticizing the current government.

Born in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, he graduated in Physics and Law. The beginning of his political career dates back to 1990, as a member of the Municipal Council of People’s Deputies of Dolgoprudni, a small town on the outskirts of the capital.

In 1997, he appeared as an advisor to Boris Nemtsov, participated in the drafting of the statutes of Gazprom, as well as other companies in the energy sector. The following year, he is appointed assistant to the Prime Minister, Serguei Kiriyenko.

In his electoral program he promises to free political prisoners, put an end to the war and restore relations with neighboring countries.

“I am calmer, prone to compromises. I tried until the end to cooperate with the authorities, to get something from them. But disappointment came in 2020, when they introduced changes to the Constitution. With the start of the ‘special operation’ there is nothing more to say” , Nadezhdin declared to the press on January 23.

With the most prominent Russian oppositionist, Alexei Navalny, detained in a high security prison, and the youngest Vladimir Kara-Murza sentenced last year to 25 years in prison, the opposition to the Kremlin is struggling to find a reference figure , a role that increasingly falls to Nadezhdin.

Nadezhdin announced on Tuesday that he has already collected more than 100,000 signatures, the number needed to officially register as a candidate for the elections, and the Russian information website Bloknot considers it the first truly serious test of the strength of the Russian opposition to Vladimir Putin, within of the country and also the exiled one.

Leonid Slutski

Aged 56, he is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and began his career in politics as head of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, and later became an advisor to the mayor of Moscow.

Slutski was co-author, in 2009, of the bill that makes the rehabilitation of Nazism criminally responsible.

Three years ago, the editor-in-chief of the RTVI television channel, Ekaterina Kotrikadze, the producer of the Dozhd TV channel, Daria Zhuk, and the journalist of the BBC Russian service, Farida Rustamova, accused Slutsky of sexual harassment. The politician considered the accusations “absurd”, part of a “personalized campaign”.

Some experts believe that Slutski could come second in the elections, an opinion corroborated by the Russian information website Meduza, published in Riga.

“Today, the special military operation is not an operation of conquerors, but of reconquerors, to regain the Russian language and common sense. It is the only possible solution”, stated Slutski on July 30, 2022.

Vladislav Davankov

From the Gente Nova party, 39 years old, originally from the city of Smolensk. He has degrees from Moscow University and the Social University.

He entered politics in 2020, when he participated in the founding of the party to which he belongs, and has not yet referred to the war in Ukraine.

Davankov advanced a bill last year banning the use of “offensive” toponyms, having co-authored laws banning transgender transition and the exhibition of animals in circuses.

In the elections for the Moscow municipality, in 2023, he came in fourth place. Currently, it does not have an electoral program.

Andrey Bogdanov

Aged 53, he belongs to the Russian Justice and Freedom Party. Born in Mojaisk, not far from Moscow, he is master of the Masonic Grand Lodge and founder of that party, as well as the Democratic Party and the Russian People’s Party.

In the 2008 presidential elections, he obtained 1.3% of the votes. He also never spoke of the “special military operation.”

In 1993 he graduated from the Plekhanov Academy of Economics. In 1999, she headed the public relations department of the Central Election Commission of United Russia, which she left in 2003.

In a recent interview, Bogdanov confessed that he did not expect to win the elections. “Putin has done a lot for ordinary people, it is difficult to defeat him,” he added. However, the elections will help him tell the Russians what “true Freemasonry” is.

Sergei Baburin

Aged 64, he is a member of the Union of Peoples of Russia. Born in the Kazakh city of Semipalatinsk, he studied at the University of Omsk.

In the last presidential elections he came in last place, with 0.63% of the votes. He spoke out for the annexation of Crimea and in favor of war.

He has been the president, since 2015, of the International Slavic Academy of Sciences. He wrote, in 2022, in the Academy’s magazine, that “the time of the dictatorship of the United States and NATO is over forever, Russia has overthrown the unipolar world.”

“It is time to understand that Ukrainian nationalism destroyed the Ukrainian state; it is impossible to return to the old Soviet model. It should be publicly recognized that the territories freed from neo-Nazism are returning to Russia, and for good. Those who reside in them have the right to Russian citizenship, as well as protection and social support forever”, he also wrote in the magazine “Slavianka”, as editor-in-chief, in 2022.

Nikolai Kharitonov

Aged 75, he is the candidate of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Born in Novosibirsk, Siberia, he came second in the 2004 presidential elections, after Putin, with 13.69% of the vote. This time, Kharitonov goes to the polls with the slogan “Stop playing with capitalism!”

He graduated from the Novossibirsk Agricultural Institute and worked as an agronomist. He started as a politician in 1990, as a deputy of the State Duma. He co-authored laws banning the sale of energy drinks to teenagers, transgender transition and the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”.

He did not comment on the “special operation”, even though, last December, after the attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Belgorod, he stated that Kiev had once again shown its “beastly face”.

“Vladimir Putin is, today, an experienced head of state and highly respected by all of us. There is only one ‘but’: people are unhappy with salaries that are too low and pensions even more so. And no one knows what kind of capitalism we are building . And why are we building it?”, he asked in an interview with Free Press, on December 27, 2023.

Irina Sviridova

Represents the Democratic Party of Russia and was born 35 years ago. Born in Tambov, little is known about this candidate, who never referred to the special military operation.

Graduated from her home university, she worked as an economist in several institutions. She is writing a doctoral thesis on the popularization of the Russian language. In 2021, she participated in the elections to the State Duma of the Tambov district, for the Green Alternative party. She received just 2.16% of the vote.

Sergei Malinkovich

Aged 48, from Saint Petersburg, he is running for the Communist Party of Russia. He is a deputy of the Altai Regional Legislative Assembly in Siberia, supports the “special operation”.

In 2011, he participated in the elections for the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, by Just Russia, but was not elected. Two years later, he took over the municipality of Petrozavodsk, but also fell by the wayside. In 2022, he participated in the elections for the administration of the Tambov region, but came in last place. He also failed in 2023, when he wanted to be governor of the Altai Territory.

In August 2023, Malinkovich supported the installation of a monument to Stalin in the city of Velikie Luki.

Malinkovich’s election program provides for the “victorious completion of the special military operation.”

Rada Russkikh

At 39 years old, he is running as an independent. ‘Blogger’ with 567 thousand followers, founder of a cosmetics brand and the Wave Diagnostics Center, in Saint Petersburg, where esotericism, magic and spiritual practices proliferate. She did not refer to the war.

Maintains an “Ecological” project on YouTube. Now, with his team, he is rescuing dogs from Buryatia, where local authorities have decided to cull abandoned animals.

Russkikh argues that “citizens should be in an equal position with the authorities and show themselves with more maturity, not wait for endless help and salvation.”

“I’m sure people want to see a female politician. Because we are more economical, less aggressive, we tend not to compete, but to reestablish order,” she told the portal, January 21.

Anatoly Batachev

A 48-year-old independent candidate, this writer, publicist and environmental activist is a member of the Vladivostok Green Alternative party. He participated in more than 40 electoral campaigns as a sociologist, analyst, press secretary and in other roles. According to him, the special military operation serves to correct errors and consolidate results.

The environmental activist has been fighting against landfills for years. In 2017, he participated in the deactivation of two large landfills.

Its program includes the preservation of Russian culture and the patriotic education of children.

“Today I clearly see and feel that Russia is tired. We have almost lost the ability to delve deeper, analyze, try, fight for change. It is difficult for us to live. We are crushed by loans, instability, nervousness, needs, negativity and it is difficult to breathe. For To remedy this, it is important that we are friends with each other”, he wrote on his Telegram channel on January 22.

Vladimir Putin

Independent candidate, 71 years old. A former KGB officer, he came to power in 1999, when Boris Yeltsin appointed him prime minister and, almost immediately afterwards, his successor. He officially assumed the presidency after the 2000 elections.

His support team includes TV presenter Iulia Baranovskaia, boxer Denis Lebedev, rock singer Iulia Chicherina, figure skaters Evgeni Plushenko and Tatiana Navka, actors Vladimir Mashkov and Ivan Okhlobistin, as well as other well-known social figures Russian.

Given the power accumulated over a quarter of a century of leadership, he has no worthy competition in these elections, faced with candidates of little political weight.

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