World Bulletin / News Desk
A line of supporters wound round the room to snap a selfie with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who looked exhausted but summoned up a smile and hug for each one.
While Putin has yet to confirm his candidacy for the March 2018 polls, chief critic Navalny is already on a whistlestop tour of Russia, opening campaign offices and trying to collect the 300,000 signatures needed to enter the race -- despite doubts he'll be allowed to stand.
In the city of Tver on the Volga River, 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Moscow, Navalny met several hundred supporters.
"We can win these elections," he told the crowd. "We can win because the majority are for us."
Navalny's right eye was still half-closed as he spoke. He is recovering after an assailant threw green dye in his face in April, the latest in a series of physical attacks.
He had medical treatment in Spain and now seems to have security. Two large men stood nearby as Navalny spoke, insisting he will "say obvious banal things, but not be afraid and say them out loud".
"Tens of millions of our fellow countrymen are destitute while the state is colossally rich," he declared, slamming low local wages.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Haziran 2017, 10:21