In her first press conference since announcing her bid for the presidency, Ksenia Sobchak on Tuesday said Igor Malashenko, who once helped Boris Yeltsin to the presidency, would be joining her campaign team.

Sobchak unexpectedly announced last week she would run in presidential elections in March next year. Although President Vladimir Putin has not yet made his candidacy official, he is expected to run and win.

With Russia’s prominent opposition politician Alexei Navalny barred from running, Sobchak has been dismissed by some observers as a “spoiler candidate,” meant to distract attention.

Speaking to journalists at a packed theater in central Moscow on Tuesday, Sobchak, whose earlier career in reality television has won her the nickname of Russia’s Paris Hilton, was defiant about her role in the elections.