Anti-War Putin Opponent Banned From Russia’s Election

Maxim Shemetov/Reuters
Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

A Russian politician critical of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has been banned from running in Russia’s presidential elections in March.

Russia’s Central Election Commission on Thursday said it had found issues with more than 9,000 signatures of over 100,000 submitted supporting Boris Nadezhdin’s candidacy, with some allegedly attributed to dead people. Nadezhdin, who had attracted an unexpected degree of public backing for the race, said he disagreed with the decision and would appeal the matter to the Supreme Court.

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“I collected more than 200,000 signatures across Russia. We conducted the collection openly and honestly - the queues at our headquarters and collection points were watched by the whole world,” he wrote on Telegram. “Taking part in the presidential election in 2024 is the most important political decision of my life. I am not giving up on my intentions.”

Nadezhdin, who had described the invasion of Ukraine as a “fatal mistake,” was never expected to win the election even if his campaign had been permitted to take place. Nadezhdin acknowledged that he is “in second place after Putin,” but claimed that the decision to block him from the elections isn’t just a personal slight.

“You are not refusing me, but tens of millions of people who are hoping for change,” he told supporters.

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