Putin rival Ksenia Sobchak insists she is not part of Kremlin plot

Critics say potential candidate is standing only to inject a veneer of competition and legitimacy into Russia’s presidential election next March

“I have no political weight, and I haven’t earned the right to launch some kind of political programme or stand as a candidate,” said Ksenia Sobchak, in what might be the most tepid sentiment ever used to launch a presidential campaign.

Speaking to the Guardian on Thursday, a day after declaring she wants to run in Russia’s presidential election in March, Sobchak admitted she had little chance of winning and had no political party or programme except to act as a lightning rod for all those dissatisfied with the political order under the president, Vladimir Putin.

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