The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, likes to entertain his audience, and he is very good at it indeed. A common, boring parliamentary session turns into a political show owing to this well-known Russian political figure. The deputies of the Russian parliament cannot turn a deaf ear when Zhirinovsky is speaking. If he is at least a little bit concerned about this or that issue, then he becomes the center of attention.
Zhirinovsky’s statements excite the Russian population; they cause either laughter or indignation, but never indifference. A lot of people like Zhirinovsky for that, as he is interesting to all of us, to be more precise.
For example, here are Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s latest initiatives: Zhirinovsky suggested changing the abbreviation CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) to USR (the Union of Sovereign Republics). He also suggested studying the possibility of devaluating the Russian ruble in order to get rid of one zero. The LDPR leader also suggested renaming several Russian cities: Ulyanovsk to Simbirsk (Vladimir Lenin’s hometown), Kirov to Vyatka (Kirov used to be Stalin’s opponent until he was shot in 1934), and Volgograd to Tsaritsin.
Zhirinovsky was the first (and maybe, the last) Russian politician who congratulated French right-wing radical Le Pen on his “brilliant victory.” Zhirinovsky is going to France during the period of the second stage of elections; he says that “the people want nationalists.”
Earlier, Zhirinovsky set forth a suggestion to totally cancel beer advertising on television, since “it is the passionate propaganda on TV when everybody drinks beer: a son-in-law, a mother-in-law, and a wife steals a bottle from her husband.” Zhirinovsky believes that “the consumption of beer results in the corruption of state officials.” Deputy Anatoly Aksakov said that he wanted to buy a bottle of beer after that speech from Zhirinovsky. Zhirinovsky also insisted that Russia render political shelter to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. So as you can see, the list of his ideas and suggestions never ends.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky says about himself: “I have an Audi car at my disposal, like Seleznyov, Zyuganov, Yavlinsky, or other leaders of parliamentary factions have. If you told me that I have 20 Mercedes vehicles, which are hired by “new Russians” for their wedding parties, and that I earn money on that, then I could tell you that the LDPR was making a fortune. However, it is not like that. Mercedes is my favorite foreign car and I have several of them. Which one do I like? I start a new day on a silvery Mercedes, in the evening I like to drive a dark-blue one, and a black Mercedes is the best for official meetings.”
If a television program has Vladimir Zhirinovsky as a special guest, then the rating of this program is higher than usual. Zhirinovsky does not have to arrange any spectacular show for that (like what happened during his conversation with Boris Nemtsov: Zhirinovsky splashed a glass of juice on him and received the same in response). It is enough to him to simply open his mouth and say something.
Of course, noone would listen to or elect Zhirinovsky if he talked rubbish all the time. Its vice versa, actually: the things that Zhirinovsky says regarding major political, economic, social issues, are sometimes rather smart and wise comments. His problem is different: he likes to say one thing, but to do something absolutely different. He can harshly criticize a bill, but then vote for it; there are a lot of contradictions in this person.
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov