Registration for Russia’s March presidential election concluded, as reported by TASS, featuring candidates including President Vladimir Putin, anticipated to secure victory, alongside three politicians endorsing Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine.
Exclusion from the candidate list was anti-war advocate Boris Nadezhdin, following the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) disqualification due to alleged discrepancies in his signature collection process.
The CEC approved the candidacies of Vladislav Davankov, the deputy chair of the New People caucus in the Russian Duma; Leonid Slutsky, leader of the pro-Kremlin LDPR; and Nikolai Kharitonov, the Communist Party nominee.
Putin, at 71, opting to participate as an independent rather than representing United Russia, has been at the helm of Russian leadership since 2000, wielding comprehensive state power. His victory in the forthcoming election is widely anticipated.
Nadezhdin, 60, despite his low expectation for victory and his vocal criticism of Putin’s Ukraine strategy as a “fatal mistake,” has drawn attention from some analysts. The Kremlin, however, does not consider him a significant contender against Putin.
After disqualification, Nadezhdin announced plans to appeal the CEC’s ruling in Russia’s Supreme Court.
As the conflict in Ukraine approaches its second year, termed a “special military operation” by the Kremlin, it has resulted in substantial casualties, massive displacement, and extensive destruction across numerous cities and villages.