EARLIER TODAY RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN (age 65), with the majority United Russia Party behind him, announced his intent to seek a second term in the upcoming March 18, 2018 presidential election:
“I will be proposing my candidacy for the position of President of the Russian Federation…Russia will move only forward, and no one will ever stop it in its progress.”
Following a thunderous reception from an assembly of car factory workers in Nizhny Novgorod, Putin replied:
“Thank you for this reaction, first of all, thank you for your work. Thank you for your attitude toward your work, the enterprise, the city, the country. I am sure that we will succeed.”
“I will put forth my candidacy for the post of president of the Russian Federation,” Putin said in Nizhny Novgorod on December 6
Putin previously served two consecutive terms as president from 2000 to 2008 after which the then new President, Dmitry Medvedev, appointed him as Prime Minister. Putin was then elected president for a third time in 2012 and has kept his intention to seek a fourth term in 2018 close to his chest until earlier today.
A recent Romir-Gallup poll reveals that if the election were held within a week from now Putin would win an overwhelming victory garnering 75 percent of votes. Popular as he is, he will not run uncontested. Nonetheless, he is expected to win by a comfortable margin. “No other candidate is expected to break through the 10 per cent barrier.”
Those who have already lined up to oppose him include: Ksenia Sobchak, a self-described underdog who plugs herself as “the against-all candidate.” She will be joined by unlikely opposition journalist Grigory Yavlinsky representing the Democratic Yabloko Party. A more well known candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, long time Putin opponent and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party will oppose Putin for the sixth time. Other potential presidential candidates include: musician and political analysts Ekaterina Gordon running as an Independent, political scientist Andrei Bogdanov, and Russian Tycoon Sergei Polonsky.
In order to qualify as a candidate for president, each potential candidate must secure 100,000 signatures.
Ms. Sobchak is a the socialite daughter of late St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak best known as a seasoned journalist with very little political experience. Nonetheless, She has already launched a campaign website on which she has announced her candidacy. According to Sobchak, she has already garnered 2,000 signatures toward the required 100,000 to be eligible to run for president.
Mr. Yavlinski is a seasoned politician and economist best known for his leadership of the social-liberal Yabloko Party and as the author of Russia’s 500 Days Programme, which he drafted to help the former Soviet Union transition to a market economy. Yavlinsky has previously run for president two times. In 1996 he finished fourth against Boris Yeltsin garnering 7% of the vote and then again in 2000 against Vladimir Putin, a race in which he finished third with 6% of the vote. Yavlinski does not support Russian annexation of Crimea and believes the nation should admit that it violated international norms in doing so. He recently announced that he will beat Putin in 2018.
Mr. Zhirinovsky is also a seasoned politician who as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), will represent the party for the sixth time. Zhirinoivski is a colonel in the Russian army, a member of the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe, and Vice-Chairman of the State Duma (lower house Russian Legislature). He has been described as “fiercely nationalist” and “a showman of Russian politics, blending populist and nationalist rhetoric, anti-Western invective and a brash, confrontational style.”
The LDPR is opposed to both socialism/communism and neoliberal capitalism. In the 2011 LPDR earned 11% or 50 of the 450 seats in parliament. The LDPR has a reputation for being authoritarian and fiscally leftist. Zhirinovsky is infatuated with the idea of a “renewed Russian Empire” and the rebirth of a “Greater Russia”.
Katya Gordon is a song writer, human rights activist, and seasoned attorney and who heads her own law firm: Gordon & Sons, which specializes in family law. She received two “Golden Gramophone” awards and in 2016 she received the “Best Duo” version of the “Muz-TV Award“.
On October 30, 2017, she announced her intention to participate in the presidential elections in 2018.
Taking a jab a female opponent Ksenia Sobchak, Gordon sarcastically knocked Sobchak’s reputation as a glamorous socialite to her own advantage with the Russian people:
“I am not a representative of glamour, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth”
Among Candidates Comments in this Video: “I am not a representative of glamour, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth”
Running on a “pro-women” platform, she touts her emotionally packed experiences, experiences that have been etched into her legal psyche following a half decade of defending women’s and children’s rights as the motivation for her feminist platform.
“I know how our judicial system works in practice,” Gordon stressed. “We are a country of single mothers whom no one cares about.”
Mr Bogdanov is a seasoned politician with strong political and historic ties to the West. Since 2014 he has served as Chairman of the Communist Party of Social Justice; he is a Freemason and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia (a post he will hold until 2020), and a 33° Scottish Rite Adept. In 2008 he ran for president and received nearly a million votes, which is roughly 1.3% of the Russian electorate.
As a Freemason, Bogdanov favors European integration, liberalism, and less state involvement in the economy.
Mr. Polonsky is a successful Russian businessman who owns Mirax Group, one of Russia’s largest real estate companies. He was one of the richest men in Russia prior to the 2007 financial crisis. On 12, July 2017 he was found guilty of fraud, but the judge ruled that too much time had elapsed since commission of the crime for the court’s decision to be implemented; consequently, Polansky simply “walked away”.
“A Moscow court convicted one of Russia’s most flamboyant tycoons, Sergei Polonsky, of fraud on Wednesday, and yet the property developer who symbolized the excess of the oil-fueled boom times walked away a free man.”
Despite Bogdanovov’s Masonry and Yavlinsky’s show of bravado, none of these candidates has what it takes to defeat the incumbent come March 2018. Putin is an extremely popular political leader whose success in foreign policy, whose desire to increase domestic production and expansion of trade with Asia to offset Western Sanctions, as well as his willingness to take on the globalist financial elite and the purveyors of liberalism, have made him a champion among the vast majority of Russian people. His re-election seems an easy forecast – that is, if he continues to outwit would-be assassins.