Russia without Putin? We should try to at least imagine the prospect | Mary Dejevsky

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Former TV star Ksenia Sobchak has thrown her hat into next year’s presidential election. But even those who dislike Putin must concede he is a known quantity

A frisson of excitement touched the early skirmishing for next year’s Russian election with this week’s announcement by Ksenia Sobchak that she intended to run for the presidency. Not only was there the novelty of a woman, and a young woman at that – she turns 36 next month – throwing her hat in the ring, but there was the brazenness of anyone, at this early stage, or at all, mounting an electoral challenge to Vladimir Putin.

Outside Russia many might ask “Ksenia who”? But not inside the country, where Sobchak’s name is recognised nationwide, thanks to an early career in reality television which she used as a springboard for a more varied, and serious, media career. She joined the opposition protests of 2011-12, and there had been speculation for a while that she might consider a presidential bid in 2018.

Related: Putin mentor’s daughter Ksenia Sobchak to run for president

No one is immortal, and a time will come when Putin’s name is not on the presidential ballot paper

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Link : Russia without Putin? We should try to at least imagine the prospect | Mary Dejevsky

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