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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Eye Surgeon Announces Bid

Eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov entered Russia's presidential race Monday, portraying himself as an alternative to both the resurgent communists and President Boris Yeltsin.

"The president's current policy is leading us nowhere. It is leading us down a blind alley, to wild capitalism, to becoming a Third World colony supplying raw materials,'' Fyodorov told a news conference.

Fyodorov, 68, is a wealthy man who projects a can-do image, and he ranks in polls as one of Russia's most respected politicians. He unveiled a platform Monday calling for more social benefits for working people and for measures such as profit-sharing and larger roles for workers in company management.

His supporters hope the fame and respect he commands will make him a powerful player in elections next June, perhaps grabbing a portion of the centrist and liberal vote.

"Svyatoslav Fyodorov will create a sort of third force, a third way for Russia,'' political commentator Oleg Rumyantsev said, describing Fyodorov as a social democrat.

Fyodorov's Workers' Self-Government Party did poorly in the December parliament elections.