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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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Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



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Monday, Nov. 3


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Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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