Europe

Russia faces to watch: Oksana Dmitriyeva

  • 29 February 2012
  • From the section Europe

The BBC looks at some of the key figures emerging in Russia's political scene.

Oksana Dmitriyeva

Oksana Dmitriyeva is a respected politician and left-wing economist who was seen as a potential presidential candidate for her party.

Born in 1958, she was an MP during the Yeltsin era in the 1990s in the left-liberal Yabloko party and spent four months in 1998 as minister of labour and social development.

She was later expelled by the party for joining President Yeltsin's government without its consent.

In recent years, Ms Dmitriyeva has been sharply critical of what she termed the "Putin-Kudrin economic policy".

She is vice-chair of A Just Russia and after the December parliamentary elections was a contender to become the party's presidential candidate. Some analysts thought she could have been at least an interesting alternative to Vladimir Putin.

But the party settled on its leader Sergei Mironov, prompting observers to conclude that there was no appetite for a challenge to Mr Putin.

Since then, she has kept a relatively low profile, appearing at protest rallies in her home city, St Petersburg, and not speaking out nationally. Unlike her party colleagues, Gennady Gudkov and Ilya Ponomaryov, she has chosen not to join the umbrella protest movement.

Nevertheless, she is still viewed as a potentially strong public figure and is considered particularly popular in St Petersburg.