Mikhail Prokhorov

Russian opposition divided over TV host's presidential bid

A presidential bid by a celebrity Russian TV host drew conflicting reactions from the country's beleaguered opposition Thursday, with some accusing her of playing into the Kremlin's hands and others welcoming her move.

Although President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied that the Kremlin has encouraged Ksenia Sobchak to run, some opposition figures say her move would allow the government to counter voter apathy and at the same time sow discord in opposition ranks.

The 35-year-old Sobchak announced her intention to run in the March 18 presidential election Wednesday, saying the country has grown tired of stagnation and needs a political change.

She is...