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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorbachev Passes 1 Million Mark

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's backers have gathered the 1 million signatures needed to put his name on the ballot in June's presidential election, said Alexei Manannikov, leader of the voter initiative group backing Gorbachev's presidential bid.

Manannikov said Gorbachev stood a good chance winning despite dismal popularity ratings.

He said Gorbachev would get the vote of the "silent majority," the so-called third force between the extremes of President Boris Yeltsin and Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov.

Gorbachev has announced his intention to run for the presidency, but has not yet made his candidacy official.

"There is no politician in Russia who is offering a third way,'' Gorbachev told reporters March 1.

Another presidential hopeful, eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov, has so far collected more than 900,000 signatures in support of his candidacy, Interfax said.

Supporters said he expects to collect 2 million signatures by March 31.