A little bit about Russian "electoral" politics. Ours our nasty and brutish (but not short, so no Hobbes quotes here), but they usually don't involved trumped-up charges and incarceration. In Russia, that's not so much the case.
Seems like if you're not one of Putin's hand-picked choices, you don't really want to be putting your hat in the ring. And my prediction remains as it's always been: Putin will put a puppet in place, run him for the required number of years, and then get reelected. He'll placate the West, which is just terrified of offending an enemy or potential enemy, because everything will have been by "vote."
But Putin will remain the dictator that he is. So much for democracy, which continues to show itself to be the failure the American Founders knew it to be.