Putin critic Girkin wants to stand in Russia presidential election

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An outspoken pro-war blogger who has fiercely criticized Russia's military strategy in Ukraine says he wants to challenge President Vladimir Putin in next March's presidential elections.

Igor Girkin led pro-Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine in 2014, following Moscow's annexation of the southern Crimea peninsula.

Girkin is in jail awaiting trial for extremism, which he denies.

He said he wanted to disrupt the "sham" election with the winner already known.

This comment is widely seen in Russia as a reference to President Putin, who is yet to publicly declare that he will run again.

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