A Russian journalist is emerging as the main opposition candidate to face Putin in the 2024 elections

Yekaterina Duntsova received the support of a popular initiative to run in next year’s elections (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/)

The Russian journalist Yekaterina Duntsova This Sunday he received the support of a popular initiative to confront the current president, Vladimir Putin, in the presidential elections of March 2024.

Duntsova, 40, received the support of 521 of the more than 700 attendees to an independent congress held in Moscow, according to the SOTA portal.

For security reasons, the venue of the event was not communicated through social networks until the last minute, which did not prevent police officers from being deployed in the room where the event took place.

Representatives of the Central Electoral Commission also appeared, before whom the popular initiative will have to present a minimum of 300,000 signatures before January 25.

Putin also received support from a popular initiative on Saturdaysince he will run as an independent candidate, although on Sunday the Kremlin party expressed its full support for him, United Russia, during its federal congress. “We do not have the slightest doubt about who should be at the head of the Russian State in this tremendously complicated period, behind whom is the historical truth, justice and the support of the majority,” he assured. Dmitri Medvedevleader of the official formation.

Vladimir Putin received the support of his United Russia party (Sergey Fadeichev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Vladimir Putin received the support of his United Russia party (Sergey Fadeichev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) (Sergey Fadeichev/)

After assuring that United Russia will do everything possible to ensure that Putin once again achieves an “incontestable” victory in the presidential elections, he encouraged the delegates present to vote with a show of hands. “Decision approved unanimously,” Medvedev said after those attending the congress raised their hands in the presence of the candidate.

When speaking, the president thanked the party for its support and assured that “the historic tasks” facing Russia “require the unity of all patriotic forces.” Putin, 71, stressed that Russia has the obligation to “be strong” and make all decisions “without outside advice.”

“We must remember, never forget and tell our children. Either Russia is self-sufficient, a sovereign power, or it will cease to exist (…) Russia cannot, like some countries, give up its sovereignty in exchange for sausage and become someone’s satellite,” she stated.

Duntsova, for her part, announced her electoral plans in mid-November, arguing that “in the last ten years the country is moving in the wrong direction,” a path that leads to “self-destruction.”

“I want Russia to be a democratic, flourishing and peaceful state”said the journalist and politician, who was elected in 2019 as a deputy to the municipal assembly of the city of Rzhev, in the Tver region, just over 200 kilometers from Moscow.

Among other proposals, it advocates the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, the introduction of democratic reforms and the release of political prisoners.

Putin was unanimously supported by the United Russia party (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS)
Putin was unanimously supported by the United Russia party (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS) (SPUTNIK/)

As soon as she communicated her ambitions, the journalist was summoned before the Prosecutor’s Office, where she was questioned about her opinion about the military campaign in the neighboring country.

Furthermore, in early December he reported that VTB bank had blocked money transfers in his name when he approached his supporters to financially support his campaign.

Mother of three children, Duntsova is a native of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk and has a degree in law and audiovisual journalism.

The controversial constitutional reform of 2020 allows the current president to serve two more terms of six years each, until 2036.

The opposition to the Kremlin considers that the elections will be a referendum on the current war, in which Russia has not achieved the objectives it set in February 2022 and would have suffered, according to the West, more than 300,000 casualties.

(With information from EFE)