Espreso. Global

ISW explains terrorist Girkin's statement about presidential candidacy in Russia

1 September, 2023 Friday
10:54

The Russian terrorist Igor Girkin (Strelkov), who is currently in prison, and his associates may be engaging in political maneuvers with the aim of forming a unified political opposition group. This could explain why he has declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2024, even while incarcerated

ISW shared its analysis in a recent report.

The Institute noted that, first of all, the former “DPR” leader used this statement to reiterate his longstanding criticism of Russian leader Vladimir Putin

The report says that Girkin's theoretical "campaign" will have little impact and should not be seen as a direct political threat to the Kremlin. He merely criticized Putin for being an ineffective military leader, failing to remove inept officials, and putting wealthy billionaires and longtime friends ahead of Russia's needs.

Analysts further emphasize that these statements align with the long-standing rhetorical stance of the terrorist, making his remarks about the presidency less of a genuine candidacy and more of an effort to draw attention to his incarceration, his consistent criticism of Putin, and an attempt to forge his own political movement.

Kirill Fedorov, a member of the Girkin-run Angry Patriots Club, said that his statement came as a surprise and that the club had previously decided not to allow Strelkov or other members to participate in the upcoming election cycle after his arrest, and had not discussed the possibility of him running for president during a recent meeting.

On August 30, the terrorist's supporters announced the creation of the Russian Movement in Support of Strelkov (Igor Girkin) and unanimously elected Girkin as its head. This is one of many recent political announcements, likely aimed at preventing the movement from splitting without Strelkov's leadership and voice to bind the movement together.

His presidential bid sparked a limited reaction in Russia's ultranationalist information space, which mostly centered around sarcastic support and criticism of the alleged presidential bid due to the current political situation of Girkin and the rest of Russia.

"Prior announcements about the formation of political movements from Girkin’s associates have not resulted in any significant reaction, and the Angry Patriots Club is likely desperate to maintain relevance and cohesion with Girkin imprisoned," ISW explained.

  • On August 31, the former leader of the so-called “DPR” army, Igor Girkin (Strelkov), wrote an appeal announcing his intention to run for the presidency in 2024.
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