To the dismay of Kremlin, popularity of Putin’s challenger is rising: “I think I will become president of Russia” | War Ukraine and Russia

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He is embraced by Putin’s opponents: Boris Nadezhdin. Now that he has been able to collect the necessary signatures to register his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections in March, his popularity continues to rise – to the dismay of the Kremlin.

Nadezhdin, who advocates ending the invasion of Ukraine, has generated unexpected enthusiasm in recent days. Across the country, tens of thousands of Russians braved the cold to sign their names for the anti-war candidate, allowing Nadezhdin to deliver 25 boxes full of signatures to the electoral commission. He stated that he would have even transferred 105,000 signatures.

LOOK. Long lines to support anti-war candidate Boris Nadezhdin

“A month ago, or even two weeks ago, no one believed in this. Some thought that things would go wrong, that there would be a hitch. But it all went well,” Nadezhdin said at a press conference.

It is unacceptable that tens of millions of people in Europe are suffering and it is terrible that so many people are dying

Boris Nadezhdin

The Dutch interpretation program ‘Nieuwsuur’ also had an interview with him. “There must be peace and freedom in Russia. What we call the special operation here must be ended,” the anti-war candidate said. “It is unacceptable that tens of millions of people in Europe are suffering and it is terrible that so many people are dying.”

LOOK. Boris Nadezhdin thanks all the people who signed for him

Now that the required number of signatures have been submitted, the question remains whether the electoral commission will approve his candidacy for the Russian presidential elections that will take place from March 15 to 17. The electoral commission has ten days to do this. Procedural errors are often cited against opposition candidates.

“Release Putin’s opponents from prison”

Nadezhdin, who also denounces the authoritarian derailments of current President Vladimir Putin, has been active in politics for about thirty years. “Under Putin’s rule, the institutions of the modern state have been destroyed. We do not have an independent parliament. But the first decision will be to release Navalny, Yashin and Kara-Murza from prison.”

Boris Nadezhdin’s press conference. © AFP

Change

He senses a change in society, he told ‘Nieuwsuur’. “In the beginning, a large part of the Russians supported the special operation. Many thought that the Russian army would quickly defeat Ukraine and Zelensky would run away and that Europe would not support Ukraine. But now it appears to be the opposite. The longer the conflict lasts, the more people realize that it must end. Not only in Russia, also in Ukraine and certainly in Europe.”

Boris Nadezhdin delivered 25 boxes full of signatures to the electoral commission.
Boris Nadezhdin delivered 25 boxes full of signatures to the electoral commission. © AFP

Even if there is more attention for him, Nadezhdin would not have much chance of beating Putin. Nevertheless, the politician still believes in his chances. “I hope that March 17 might herald the end, the beginning of the end of the Putin era,” the sixty-year-old said in an interview a few days ago.

To-the-dismay-of-Kremlin-popularity-of-P

The longer it goes on, the more people support me

Boris Nadezhdin

And he also showed himself combative towards ‘Nieuwsuur’. “The longer it goes on, the more people support me. I think I’ll end up being the president of Russia. It seems likely to me that Putin will stay in office for another six years.”

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: dismay Kremlin popularity Putins challenger rising president Russia War Ukraine Russia

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