MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti)
- LDPR nominates Zhirinovsky for president
- Russia set to register Zyuganov as presidential candidate
- Putin registered as presidential candidate
- Yavlinsky joins Russian presidential race
Russia’s election authorities on Wednesday officially registered populist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky and communist leader Gennady Zyuganov to run in the presidential election in March.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and moderate social democratic leader Sergei Mironov are also registered to take part in the presidential race.
Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the non-parliamentary liberal Yabloko party, as well as five other candidates including billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov all need two million signatures to register.
Until recently, Putin looked all but certain to win the March vote but recent anti-government protests appear to have dampened his support.
According to the independent Levada Center, Putin's popularity rating is now at a record low of 27 percent.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.