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Shaman and Military Bloggers Will Campaign for Putin in 2024

2024 Campaign material for Vladimir Putin Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

A list of 346 proxies who will campaign for President Vladimir Putin across the country in the 2024 election has been approved by the Central Election Commission.

Among those included were the pro-war singer Shaman, People's Artist of the USSR violist and conductor Yuri Bashmet, and President of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics Irina Viner.

Sources close to the Kremlin told news website RBC that a new feature of the 2023 list is the inclusion of several military correspondents and bloggers, including Komsomolskaya Pravda’s Alexander Kots and War Gonzo’s Semyon Pegov, and the leaders of pro-war volunteer organizations.

All presidential candidates can appoint up to 600 proxies, with another 100 permitted to be appointed by the party nominating the candidate. Elected officials or candidates, heads of local administration, and electoral commission employees are not permitted to serve as proxies.

In 2018, Putin had 476 proxies, about 60 percent of whom will be retained in 2024, reported RBC.

Regional administrations from across Russia sent the Kremlin lists of candidates to be included as proxies, with quotas depending on the number of registered voters in each area.

Potential proxies were expected to be people with high levels of public recognition who publicly supported the president and the war in Ukraine and were willing to spend time campaigning. 

They also were required to be “trainable” to learn “the core meaning of the election campaign and values that the candidate defends” and to have public speaking and debating skills.

In March 2024, Putin, who first came to power in 2000, will run for his fifth term in office.

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