High-ranking officials within the Kremlin are allegedly supporting an underground movement opposing Putin's leadership.
Ponomarev, the leader of the Congress of People's Deputies and a notable figure in the Russian opposition, has long been critical of the Putin administration. His claims about Kremlin officials assisting an "underground revolution" come alongside his theory that these officials are engaging in such activities as an "insurance policy" against potential repercussions.
According to the Daily Express, Ponomarev, who served as a member of the Russian State Duma from 2007 to 2016, was the sole member to vote against the controversial Russian gay propaganda law and the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The Daily Express reported that these high-ranking Kremlin individuals believe that maintaining communication with Ponomarev and offering occasional "favors" might shield them from consequences for their past actions within the regime.
Ponomarev clarified in an interview that the "favors" mostly involve the exchange of information, stating, "Mostly it is information. They love to frame each other. But sometimes we receive invaluable tips."
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With Russia's presidential elections scheduled for March 2024, those Kremlin officials supporting the anti-Putin campaign seem to be banking on a change in the regime, though prospects appear slim.
Putin has maintained dominance in presidential elections since his initial win in 2000, with critics facing imprisonment, exile or other consequences for challenging him.
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Recent developments include the placement of political dissident Alexei Navalny in a small punishment cell for non-compliance with protocol, and the rejection of journalist-turned-politician Yekaterina Duntsova's candidacy by the National Election Commission. Duntsova, an advocate for peace in Ukraine, aimed to run as an independent candidate but faced allegations of errors in her documents.
The two primary registered candidates challenging Putin in the 2024 elections are Leonid Slutsky of the right-wing nationalist Liberal Democratic Party and Vladislav Davankov of the New People party.
Both candidates, affiliated with parliamentary parties and employed at the State Duma, have shown significant support for legislation endorsed by Putin's United Russia party. Slutsky is the head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, while Davankov serves as the Deputy Speaker.
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