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Updated December 21st, 2023 at 16:12 IST

Who is Yekaterina Duntsova? Ex-Journalist to contest against Putin in 2024 Russian elections

As Russia gears up for its 2024 presidential election, an anti-war journalist has applied to run against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Former Russian Journalist  Yekaterina Duntsova
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Former Russian Journalist Yekaterina Duntsova | Image:AP
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As Russia gears up for its 2024 presidential election, an anti-war journalist has applied to run against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin is facing little to no competition in the election scheduled to take place in March since most of his political opponents are either dead or serving prison sentences. In light of this situation, Former TV journalist Yekaterina Duntsova submitted her documents to the Central Election Commission in Moscow, The Independent reported. With this, the 40-year-old journalist commenced the formal process of entering the race to the Kremlin. 

With the concept of dissent largely being criminalised in Russia, the country's electoral watchdog has set the bar for being a candidate in the election extremely high. According to the Independent, Duntsova will be required to submit 300,000 signatures from at least 40 Russian states supporting her candidacy by 31 January. When asked if the Russian authorities would allow her to contest the election, Duntsova gave an optimistic response. “Why are we talking about permission if this is my right according to the law and I have that possibility and have the necessary qualities to put myself forward?" the former Russian journalist exclaimed. "We are just moving according to the formula prescribed by federal law, and for that, we don’t need anyone’s permission," she added. 

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Duntsova wants a humane Russia

Duntsova who is currently serving as a regional legislator has called for peace in Ukraine multiple times. Her campaign planks on the idea of a “humane Russia” that is willing to cooperate. Duntsova insisted that she takes pride in the fact that she took the first step to challenge the incumbent leader, however, she insisted that collecting signatures from across the country would be a hard task.  “I feel a sense of accomplishment. We’ve done everything that we needed to do. We’ve made this step, and I think it should inspire people who support us," Duntsova averred. “I hope that I’ll at least be registered as a candidate. But, of course, collecting signatures is a huge job and I hope that people will be actively taking part,” the candidate added. 

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According to the Independent, the Russian presidential election will take place over the three-day period between 15 and 17 March. If Putin wins the election, he will serve his fifth term in office.  While the fate of Duntsova remains unclear, Putin's most high-profile critic and opponent, Alexei Navalny, is currently missing after a prison transfer, and has been banned from participating in the upcoming elections. 

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Published December 21st, 2023 at 16:11 IST

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