| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

In Russia, war and fear trouble one presidential hopeful

Potential presidential candidate Yekaterina Duntsova stated that in order to prevent the West and Russia from becoming divided along “barbed wire” lines, the Kremlin should put an end to the crisis in Ukraine, release political prisoners, and carry out significant reform.

Speaking to Reuters in Moscow, 40-year-old Duntsova expressed her fear about Russia’s future after nearly 32 years after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, which raised aspirations of the country becoming an open democracy.

“Fear is present but it is conscious,” said Duntsova, who this month announced she wanted to run for president in the March 2024 election.

“Any sane person taking this step would be afraid – but fear must not win.”

She said she had to choose her words carefully given laws which can be used to prosecute those criticising what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”, and that she had been warned about speaking too much to foreign correspondents.

The divorced former regional TV journalist who has three children refused to use the word “war” to describe the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War Two due to Russian law.

“Sooner or later every armed conflict ends, and I hope that it ends as soon as possible,” Duntsova said.

“The people are very tired of what is going on. But that weariness is not voiced.”

  • Reuters