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Putin has a challenger – He may find himself facing the butcher of Sloviansk

Igor Girkin, the former Russian intelligence officer and Donbas separatist commander known as the “Slovyansk butcher”, has confirmed that he will indeed run for the presidency in the 2024 Russian elections, Index reports.

Image: Pixabay

Igor Girkin fought in the Donbass since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, among other things, he may have played a role in the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner. For this reason, he was also sentenced to life in prison in 2022 – although it is true that only in absentia, in the Netherlands (according to some reports, even Putin may have played an indirect role in the shooting down of the plane).

Girkin followed the Russian-Ukrainian war as a war blogger. More than once, he criticized the Russian military leadership for mistakes made on the front, and he did not spare Vladimir Putin either. This eventually led to Girkin actually being jailed in Russia for his “extremist” expressions, as laws prohibit criticism of Ukraine’s “special operations” and the army in the country (even criticizing the president under certain circumstances).

Shortly before his arrest, the former separatist commander talked about running for president in the March 2024 election. On Saturday, Girkin released a lengthy letter confirming:

he really runs in the election, despite the fact that he considers it only a “show” with a “pre-determined winner”.

According to Reuters, the candidate wrote that revolution and civil war could come in Russia if Vladimir Putin does not appoint more effective leaders to head the army.

I am perfectly aware that in the current situation running in the Russian presidential election means sitting down at a card party with fake card players

Putin’s challenger said.

He also noted that he does not think he will be banned from running in the election, and that he is confident that he can disrupt the Kremlin’s election “theatrics” with the support of nationalist forces.

This is our chance to unite against external and internal threats. I’m going to leave

– wrote Girkin, whose letter written in prison was also read at a press conference.

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