Detained former Russian commander Igor Girkin has announced his intent to run for the Russian presidency in 2024, a move that could spell bad news for Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, according to experts.

Girkin, a prominent nationalist who has publicly criticized how Putin leads the country and the military leadership’s handling of the war in Ukraine, is in custody awaiting trial, having failed in an appeal in August against his pre-trial detention on charges of inciting extremism.

The former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer rose to prominence after assisting Russia’s move to annex the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. He was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by the Hague District Court in the Netherlands for his role in shooting down a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s Donetsk region, which killed 298 people.

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