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The Kremlin confirmed Tuesday that President Vladimir Putin will not take the stage to debate his rivals in Russia's March presidential election.

“Everyone can see Putin’s statements on all aspects of Russians’ lives on a virtually daily basis,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He added that Putin “fundamentally differs” from all other candidates because of his “very busy presidential schedule.”

Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) officially registered four candidates for the March presidential race — Putin, Leonid Slutsky of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party, Nikolai Kharitonov of the Communist Party and Vladislav Davankov of the New People party.

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2024/02/13/putin-to-skip-presidential-debates-kremlin-says-a84063

Is there any precedent of the Russian president skipping a debate during the presidential elections? The Moscow Times reported that current Russian president Vladimir Putin would not take the stage to debate his rivals in Russia's March presidential elections. I was wondering if there was any precedent for such a move in Russia's history.

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Vladimir Putin has never participated in a Presidential election debate -- not in 1991, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2018 or 2024. (Although in all fairness he wasn't a candidate in 1991, 1996, or, in theory, 2008).

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    1991 and 1996 is a bit of a stretch - he was neither a candidate, nor an important political figure back then.
    – Morisco
    Commented Feb 14 at 6:20
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    That is a bit tongue in cheek but it's also a reminder that there have been only two Presidential elections before Putin (and 2008 with a seat warmer) so there's not much precedence for anything other than Putin. Commented Feb 14 at 12:55
  • Apart from that the answer is correct. +1
    – Morisco
    Commented Feb 14 at 12:59

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