Mr. Rybkin announced his withdrawal to a news conference in Moscow this afternoon to officially apply for it, later on the day. The election outcome is as good as settled even now, he explained, adding a sarcastic, "I'm quitting. Am I a rabbit to run before the President's motorcade?" The sceptical presidential hopeful decided to drop out all by himself, without seeking the advice of Boris Berezovsky, his tycoon sponsor. "It does not mean I am leaving Berezovsky's side-that will never be," he forcefully added.
Apart from incumbent Vladimir Putin, five are staying on the Russian presidential race-Sergei Glazyev, Oleg Malyshkin, Sergei Mironov, Irina Hakamada, and Nikolai Kharitonov.