RealNews

A Putin Election Challenger Disappears

One of Vladimir V. Putin’s challengers in the presidential election next month is missing, and the police and security services announced Sunday that they had begun a search for him. Ivan P. Rybkin, a former Parliament speaker and national security adviser under Boris N. Yeltsin, has not been seen or heard from since Thursday evening, raising fears among his family and campaign aides that something dire has happened to him. “We are trying not to let such ideas come to mind,” said Aleksandr V. Tukayev, a campaign official and the deputy chairman of Mr. Rybkin’s party, Liberal Russia, “but it is hard not to think about it.” Mr. Rybkin’s whereabouts have added a bizarre drama to a torpid presidential campaign that is universally expected to end with Mr. Putin’s re-election on March 14. Full Story

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