The Candidates

Vladimir Bryntsalov, 49, flashy billionaire lawmaker who owns Russia’s biggest pharmaceutical company, Ferain. Campaigns on Russian nationalist slogans and vaguely socialist economic promises while flaunting wealth.

Svyatoslav Fyodorov, 68, eye surgeon who built world-renowned eye clinic; member of parliament. Advocates “popular capitalism,” with workers holding shares of their companies. Failed in attempt to form centrist coalition.

Mikhail Gorbachev, 65, Soviet president 1985-1991. Widely blamed for Soviet collapse and Russia’s economic and social woes. Barely registers in public opinion polls. Runs as alternative to both Communists and reformers.

Alexander Lebed, 46, outspoken retired general and Afghan war veteran credited with ending ethnic hostilities in Moldova in 1992. A lawmaker whose platform combines patriotism with calls for “order” and strong military.

Martin Shakkum, 45, obscure technocrat who heads Reform think tank. Founder and chairman of Russian Popular Socialist Party. Advocates strong state control over economy and Soviet-type social protection net.

Yuri Vlasov, 60, double Olympic weightlifting champion and formerly fierce anti-Communist turned hard-line nationalist and author. Advocates mixture of nationalist and socialist views.

Grigory Yavlinsky, 44, free-market economist and ex-Soviet government adviser. Heads centrist Yabloko party. Promises to streamline and soften Russia’s economic reforms, fight crime and corruption, reform military.

Boris Yeltsin, 65, ex-construction engineer turned Communist Party official who became Russian president. Engineered Soviet collapse in 1991 and launched sweeping market reforms in 1992. Campaigns as only real guarantor of stability and continuing reforms.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 50, flamboyant lawyer who also ran for president in 1991. Head of ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, with large bloc of parliament seats. Famous for frequent outrageous statements.

Gennady Zyuganov, 51, former Soviet functionary and impressive organizer who led Russia’s Communist Party to victory in December parliament election. Advocates state control of key industries, broader government involvement in economy and “peaceful” restoration of Soviet Union.

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