In a statement to his supporters on the “Telegram” website, Girkin stated that he wants to “disrupt the fabricated elections,” in which the winner is already known. “I understand very well that participating in elections in Russia now is like playing cards with fraudsters,” said Girkin.
He hopes that his attempt to “unite the forces of the patriots” will thwart the Kremlin’s plans to hold elections in which “the winner is already known.” Girkin has instructed his supporters to set up his campaign headquarters and start collecting signatures for his candidacy.
Girkin’s supporters told the Reuters news agency that the investigation into terrorism charges against him has been extended until December 18, so theoretically he can participate in the elections since he has not yet been convicted.
Girkin has previously criticized Putin and Russia’s military leadership for its failures in the war in Ukraine. He was arrested in July after being charged with extremism.
Girkin, 52, led a Russian-backed separatist militia in eastern Ukraine shortly after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. He was one of three people convicted by a Dutch court of shooting down a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in 2014. All 298 people on board died in the disaster.