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Zhirinovsky: When One Wife Is Not Enough

Published: February 6, 2001 (Issue # 642)



  • Zhirinovsky fighting with Duma deputy Irina Tishkovska in January 1996. He later claimed she 'just wanted to be close' to him.
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

Duma Deputy Speaker and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky has actively crusaded for the legalization of polygamy in Russia. In spite of his heated arguments based on Russia's demographic decline, Zhirinovsky failed to find enough support among his fellow deputies in the State Duma. He spoke to Kester Klomegah about his cause. Q: Your political party raised the issue of legalizing polygamy in Russia. What were your motivations for this move?

A: Everyone is greatly concerned about the deepening demographic crisis in our country. President Vladimir Putin also raised this issue in his Children's Day address last June and called for a radical approach to arrest the crisis. So it was not on a lark that the LDPR proposed legalizing polygamy. We came up with the correct approach to the problem. The Russian Constitution allows us to change the Family Code. But every time amendments are proposed in the Duma, our lawmakers get confused. They don't know what to do. Polygamy and polyandry are already practised illegally, why not legalize it?

Q: You first raised this issue in 1996, and back then the Duma was not interested in supporting it.

A: Actually, it was during the parliamentary election campaign in 1993 that I raised this issue to boost the numbers of the dwindling Russian population. I know where this country is heading. So far there has been little open support for my proposal, but I know for sure that privately many deputies are in favor of it. They secretly support the idea. If they do not openly support me, the population will soon disappear.

Q: How do you hope to get a majority in the Duma to support your proposal?

A: Everyone says the demographic situation is catastrophic. We as lawmakers have to analyze the Family Code in relation to this problem. They [the deputies] are not looking at the problem the way they should. In the next five to 10 years, when the population shrinks by a third, they will overwhelmingly vote for amendments to the Family Code and legalize polygamy and polyandry.

Q: Maybe the question should be put to the people in a referendum?

A: You think I am afraid of the people? Many people are trying to survive loneliness in our society. I know for sure they'll say yes.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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