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Russians Line Up to Sign Papers for Pro-Peace Presidential Hopeful Nadezhdin

A line outside Boris Nadezhdin's Moscow headquarters. MT

MOSCOW – Thousands of Russians have been lining up in the capital and across the country to leave signatures in support of presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin, who is campaigning for peace with Ukraine.

Nadezhdin, 60, who is running from the Civic Initiative party, must gather the signatures of 100,000 supporters by the end of January to be allowed to continue his campaign for the March 17 election. 

His campaign manifesto states that Nadezhdin is running as “a principled opponent of the policies of the current president." It adds that he is against “unjustified use of military force against other countries” and for “cooperation with Western countries.”

In Moscow, dozens of people gathered on Monday afternoon to sign papers for Nadezhdin at his headquarters, according to a Moscow Times reporter.

One supporter who was standing in the line said that he decided to leave his signature mainly because “the candidate promised to end the war if elected.”

“This is already a very strong reason to support him,” said the supporter, who asked for anonymity given the risk of persecution for anti-war statements. “State propaganda claims that everyone is happy with the current state of affairs in Russia, but look how many people are here.”


Alexander from northwestern Russia's Vologda region said he came to support Nadezhdin because he was tired of the same political landscape in Russia for many years.

“I’m 24 years old and I haven’t seen anyone but [President Vladimir] Putin or [former President Dmitry] Medvedev,” Alexander told The Moscow Times from his spot in the line. “I want changes.”

Another supporter from the Moscow region said that she was “very happy” to see lines of “like-minded people.”

As of Monday, Nadezhdin has gathered more than 80,000 signatures. Lines of his supporters were seen in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Ufa. Nadezhdin also opened headquarters in hubs for Russian wartime emigres like Armenia, Georgia, Serbia and Israel.

Several Russian opposition figures, including allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, politician Maxim Katz and others announced their support for Nadezhdin.

Yekaterina Duntsova, a former city councilor from the Tver region who announced her bid for the presidency but was barred for alleged document errors last month, also urged her supporters to leave signatures for the politician.

Under Russian election law, the signatures for all candidates must be reviewed by Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC).

Putin, who had to collect 300,000 signatures as a “self-nominated” candidate, announced on Monday that he delivered the papers to the commission for review. 

Candidates who do not need to collect signatures because they are running from political parties represented in the national parliament — like Leonid Slutsky of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Vladislav Davankov of the New People Party and Nikolai Kharitonov of the Communist Party — have already been approved by the country’s election watchdog.


Despite the long lines for Nadezhdin, some of his supporters expressed fear that he could still be excluded from the presidential election even after collecting enough signatures.

"To be honest, I don't believe that we will see our candidate on the ballots," one Nadezhdin supporter in Moscow told The Moscow Times when asked if she hoped that the CEC would accept the signatures for Nadezhdin.

"Although I very much hope for that, and I’m not surprised to see so many supporters," she added.

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