Analyst Konstantin Kalachev came up with a similar description—though not as a way of boosting diversity, but seemingly as a kind of reality TV: “You’ve got to somehow freshen up the script, build up some kind of drama,” Vedomosti paraphrases. He warned that having a serious female candidate was a “dangerous dream,” since women are Putin’s main constituency.

His colleague Mikhail Vinogradov said there was no need for the whole idea, telling the paper that women would just “take votes from everyone.” He wasn’t completely opposed to have a “feminine woman,” however, saying that would “slightly soften voters’ fatigue and irritation” with perpetual no-hope candidates Zyuganov, nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and liberal Grigory Yavlinsky.

When asked if team Putin did indeed want a female candidate, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied that the idea of a woman running for president hadn’t crossed its collective mind, saying (paywall), “We haven’t thought about that in the Kremlin.”

Perhaps we won’t see such a spin on the regime’s governing philosophy of ”managed democracy“ (paywall) after all.

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