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Putin Re-Election Campaign Begins Enlisting Surrogates – Kommersant

Vladimir Putin. kremlin.ru

The Kremlin has begun compiling a list of influential figures that would campaign on behalf of President Vladimir Putin as he seeks re-election next year, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday, citing several anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

According to the newspaper, work on organizing a so-called “initiative group” of campaign surrogates suggests that Putin will likely run as an independent candidate in the 2024 presidential election rather than align himself with the ruling United Russia party, just as he had done when he last ran for president in 2018. 

“He’s a president for all,” one source was quoted as saying, adding that electoral support for Putin is expected to transcend party politics.

Although the list of Putin’s surrogates is “far from complete,” Kommersant notes that priority will be given to figures with “positive” reputations and those with “influence among their audience.”

The popular pro-war singer Shaman is being considered among other cultural and military figures as Putin’s possible surrogates, according to the newspaper.

Putin is expected to run a “very conservative” 2024 campaign based on his high polling figures, Kommersant reports, citing one of its sources.

His 2018 presidential campaign featured nearly 700 surrogates, including academics, athletes, businesspeople and other politicians.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday the decision on the “initiative group” has not yet been reached.

Putin has said he would announce his plans to run for a fifth term in office after the country's parliament formally called the presidential election in December.

The Russian leader’s re-election bid has been made possible by constitutional changes that allow him to remain in office until 2036. 

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