President Vladimir Putin’s cousin has formed a new political party called “Russia Without Corruption,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Roman Putin is an entrepreneur, politician, former FSB officer and Putin’s first cousin, once removed. He previously headed the “People Against Corruption” party, which was dissolved last month by the Russian Supreme Court for not participating in any elections for seven years.
The Russia Without Corruption party, which was founded at a congress in Moscow on Tuesday, plans to run in the 2021 State Duma elections, an unnamed source close to the party told RIA Novosti.
The party’s name bears similarity to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, which publishes investigations into corruption among Russia’s elite. Ahead of next year’s State Duma elections, Navalny has been promoting his strategy of “Smart Voting” that urges supporters to vote for the candidate with the highest chance of unseating pro-Kremlin incumbents.
Some analysts have linked the recent appearance of several new political parties to a Kremlin strategy to divide opposition support amid record low popularity for the ruling, pro-Kremlin United Russia party.