Can he replace Putin?  Expert: “More dangerous than Prigozhin” “He sees himself on the Russian throne” |  News from around the world

Presidential elections in Russia are scheduled to be held on March 17, 2023. Independent candidates must submit to December 27thAnd political party candidates – until January 1. Russian media reported on Friday that Vladimir Putin announced his participation in the elections.

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Ukrainian military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko said that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu sees himself in Vladimir Putin’s place. He has ambitions. He sees himself on the Russian throne instead of Putin, and his ambitions were evident even before the comprehensive Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said.

Kovalenko believes that Shoigu “poses a greater danger than Yevgeny Prigozhin.” Let us recall that the head of the Wagner Group openly criticized the Russian authorities. He said – Now Shoigu has become more dangerous for Putin, and even more dangerous than Prigozhin.

Putin’s political rivals. One of the candidates has already been summoned to the Public Prosecutor’s Office

Russian branch BBC Analyze who Putin’s political rival might be. According to Pyotr Bystrov, a political strategist, none of Putin’s rivals are likely to gain public support. In August, Meduza reported that the Kremlin had decided on so-called sparring partners for Putin. “One of the main criteria for selecting candidates is age – Putin’s rivals should not have people under 50. This is necessary so that 70-year-old Putin does not look like a grandfather,” the BBC describes.

United Russia said it would support Putin “in one way or another.” Likewise, Just Russia announced that it would not field a candidate, as happened in previous elections, and that it would support Vladimir Putin. In 2012, Putin ran in the presidential elections from this party. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation will announce its candidate in the second half of December. But as the Russian newspaper Al-Akhbar wrote, the party’s leader is likely to be Gennady Zyuganov, who has already run for president four times – most recently in 2012. However, he has not yet commented on these reports.

Other potential candidates include: the President of Khakassia, Valentin Konovalov, the Mayor of Novosibirsk, Anatoly Lokot, the Governor of Orlov Oblast, Andrei Klychkov, and even the director of the Lenin State Agricultural Farm, Pavel Grudinin, who took second place. A place in the 2018 presidential elections with a result of 11.77 percent

Alexei Nechayev, leader of the New People’s Party, said that his party intends to field a candidate in the elections, but has not yet made a decision in this regard. “Wiadomości” reports that he himself is likely to run for president – for the first time. In turn, the candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party is likely to be its leader Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs.

Wiiadomości also wrote that Putin’s administration was discussing the possibility of accepting a candidate from “liberal forces.” In the previous elections, journalist Ksenia Sobchak played this role, ultimately receiving 1.68% of the votes. According to the BBC, an agreement was then reached with the presidential administration and the matter was discussed personally with Vladimir Putin. As an example of a possible “liberal candidate” who could appear on the lists in 2024, “Wiadomości” informants mentioned Alexei Venediktov, former editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy. However, he himself claims that he has no such plans.

Another “liberal candidate” could be 60-year-old politician Boris Nadezhdin, who has announced his plans to run in the elections. However, it was journalist Ekaterina Dontsova, an unlikely presidential candidate, who announced her candidacy. But it is not known whether her name will appear on the ballot. However, immediately after announcing her plans, she was summoned to the public prosecutor’s office, and her bank account where she collected campaign donations was subsequently blocked.

As the BBC summarizes, “it is not worth expecting that any of these potential candidates could even theoretically compete with Vladimir Putin.”

Presidential elections in Russia. Alexei Navalny appeals to Russians from prison

Meanwhile, opposition figure Alexei Navalny from behind bars appeals to Russians to participate in the elections. In mid-October, Navalny invited independent politicians, activists and people of culture, as well as everyone who wants to participate in an opinion poll about the 2024 elections.

The Russians were asked who could be a presidential candidate. According to the poll, the most popular candidate was the politician, former mayor of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Rozzman. In second place was journalist and Nobel Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov, and in third place was the former head of the Yabloko Party, Grigory Yavlinsky. None of them, except Golinsky, has announced plans to participate in the elections. The latter said that he would not run for elections unless he collected 10 million signatures, and this has not happened yet.

On December 7, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, founded by Navalny, presented an action plan aimed at persuading Russians to vote for a candidate other than Putin. “For Putin, the 2024 elections are a referendum on approval of his war actions. On March 17, Russia must realize that the majority does not want to see Putin at the head of the country. The results of the vote will be rigged, but our job is to make sure that without.” Everything was clear to them,” the foundation wrote in a statement.

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