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  • A voter looks through a broadsheet with information about the candidates during the early voting ahead of the March 18 presidential election in a settlement on the Pechora Sea island of Kolguyev in Nenets Autonomous District, Russia February 28, 2018.

    A voter looks through a broadsheet with information about the candidates during the early voting ahead of the March 18 presidential election in a settlement on the Pechora Sea island of Kolguyev in Nenets Autonomous District, Russia February 28, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 March 2018

teleSUR takes a look at the contenders for top post at the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin - All-Russia People's Front

Vladimir Putin (Photo: Reuters)

Vladimir Putin has served as President of the Russian Federation since May 2012, but also previously held the position from 2000 until 2008. He was also Prime Minister of the Russian Federation from 1999 until 2000, and again from 2008 until 2012.

The 66-year-old former foreign intelligence officer is the favorite in the race, enjoying very high levels of approval among Russians.

Ksenia Sobchak - Civic Initiative

Ksenia Sobchak (Photo: Reuters)

The only woman in the race is a TV anchor, journalist and actress. A 36-year-old daughter of two Russian politicians, Sobchak became known as a host of a reality TV show as well as a clothes designer.

Sobchak is a supporter of free-market capitalism and privatization, but also describes herself as a feminist and a nationalist.

Maxim Suraykin - Communists of Russia

Maxim Suraykin (Photo: Reuters)

Suraykin is the presidential candidate for Communists of Russia party, which split from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in 2012.

The party, which considers itself to be the true heir of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and rejects the leadership of Gennady Zyuganov, does not have any elected legislators despite finishing with the fifth most votes in 2013.

The 39-year-old former lecturer has twice ran for governor, both times unsuccessfully.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky - Liberal Democratic Party of Russia

Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Photo: Reuters)

The 72-year-old political veteran is known for his bombastic, populist style, as well as his nationalist politics.

Born modern-day Kazakhstan to a jewish family, he has been in the State Duma since 1993 and is frequently caught up in scandals and controversies of the personal and political variety. Most recently, Zhirinovsky was embroiled in a spat with fellow presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak during a television debate, prompting Sobchak to throw water on Zhirinovsky after he repeatedly insulted her.

Pavel Grudinin - Communist Party of the Russian Federation/ Left Front

Pavel Grudinin (Photo: Reuters)

The 58-year old Grudinin had served in the Moscow Oblast Duma since the 1990s, but is a relative newcomer to national politics.

From 1982 to 1989 he worked at the Lenin State Farm as head of the mechanical workshop, becoming the general director and blocking shareholder of the company once it was privatized.

The millionaire was approved as the candidate for the Left Front in 2017 after primaries, and is currently a distant second in opinion polls behind Putin.

Grigory Yavlinsky - Yabloko

Grigory Yavlinsky (Photo: Reuters)

The 59-year-old Russian economist is known for his "500 Days" program for liberalizing the Soviet economy and transforming it to a free market in less than 2 years through a series of shock therapy measures.

Yavlinsky has run for president twice, losing to Boris Yeltsin in 1996 and in 2000 to Putin.

Boris Titov - Party of Growth

Boris Titov (Photo: Reuters)

Titov is a businessman and Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights.

The 58-year-old businessman made his wealth in the petrochemical sector during the mass privatization following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Titov's Party of Growth calls for "Capitalism for All", which obviously favors free market reforms including privatizations.

Sergey Baburin - Russian All-People's Union

Sergey Baburin (Photo: Wikicommons)

Born in Kazakhstan, the 58-year-old former military man served in the Soviet army in Afghanistan.

Baburin was elected to the State Duma from 1993-1997 and later 2000-2007, but was previously elected to the Supreme Soviet of Russia in 1990, where he voted against dissolving the Soviet Union.

In the 2007, proposed giving every Russian some US$150,000 as one-time compensation for wrongdoings of the state privatizations of the 1990's.


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