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Russian Pro-Peace Candidate Duntsova Nominated for 2024 Race

Ekaterina Duntsova (right) at Sunday's nomination event. Ekaterina Duntsova / Telegram

A group of supporters has nominated pro-peace candidate Yekaterina Duntsova to run in Russia's 2024 presidential election, her campaign said Sunday.

Duntsova is a journalist and local politician from the Tver region whose candidacy has sparked accusations that she is endorsed by the Kremlin, which she denies, as well as fears of her prosecution under Russia’s strict wartime laws.

“Today was the official start of our election campaign,” Duntsova’s campaign said on the messaging app Telegram after hundreds of supporters gathered in Moscow on Sunday to officially endorse her candidacy.

Russia's election laws require a 500-strong special interest group to gather in a single place to endorse a nominee. 

Duntsova’s campaign, which had kept the meeting’s location secret until the last minute to avoid run-ins with the police, said that the lights at the venue were unexpectedly cut off during the endorsement.

“These little shenanigans will probably continue, but we’ll get through them together,” the campaign said.

One of Duntsova’s supporters was detained in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk after returning from the nomination meeting, according to women’s activist group Myagkaya Sila (Soft Power). The supporter, who is also a member of Myagkaya Sila, was reportedly accused of falsely filing a complaint against a police officer.

Duntsova will now need to gather 300,000 signatures from at least 40 regions and submit the list to Russia's Central Electoral Commission for review before her name can appear on the ballot. 

Her campaign said it plans to start gathering signatures in early January.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, the pro-Kremlin ruling party United Russia endorsed President Vladimir Putin as an independent candidate in the 2024 election, a race he is certain to win.

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