A pro-peace candidate files to run against Putin

On Wednesday, a Russian politician calling for peace in Ukraine submitted documents to register him as a candidate for the 2024 Russian presidential elections.

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A pro-peace candidate has filed to run in next year’s elections against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ekaterina Dontsova, who advocates peace in Ukraine, submitted documents on Wednesday to Russia’s Central Election Commission to register herself as a candidate for the country’s 2024 presidential election.

The regional legislator hopes to challenge Putin and promote her vision of a peaceful, friendly, humanitarian Russia that is ready to cooperate with everyone on the principle of respect.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, Dontsova said she hoped the event would inspire her supporters.

If accepted as an independent candidate, the former journalist will then need to collect 300,000 signatures of support from at least 40 Russian regions.

“I feel a sense of accomplishment: we did everything we had to do. We took this step, and I think it should inspire the people who support us.

“I hope that I will at least be registered as a candidate. But, of course, collecting signatures is a huge task and I hope people will actively participate in it.

The Russian state parliament set March 17 as the date for the country’s 2024 presidential elections earlier this month, bringing Putin another step closer to a fifth term in office.

Putin’s tight control over Russia’s political system during his 24 years in power makes his re-election in March almost certain. Prominent critics who could challenge him are either in prison or living abroad, and most independent media have been banned.

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Speaking to The Associated Press in an earlier interview, Dontsova said she was afraid the former Kremlin would target opposition activists and protesters.

But she insisted on the need to “present an alternative” to Putin and his policies.

She said that if elected, her first presidential decree would require the release of “political prisoners” in Russia, without mentioning names. In previous statements, she spoke of her willingness to release Putin’s arch enemy, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

Dontsova took her first steps towards becoming a candidate on Sunday when her candidacy was approved by 500 supporters, as required by Russian electoral law.

More than 500 people gathered in Moscow to support the parade, according to Telegram updates from Sota, a Russian newsletter that covers opposition, protests and human rights issues.

Ultimately, the meeting continued unhindered, although the venue’s power was briefly cut and security guards initially refused to allow some of them to enter the building.

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