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Zhirinovsky Engages in Street Theater

Published: January 25, 2008 (Issue # 1342)


MOSCOW Liberal Democratic Party leader and presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky had his back to the British Embassy on Wednesday, but his voice boomed over a microphone toward the Moscow River with a message for British officials.

In a 20-minute tirade that was part theater, part campaign circus, Zhirinovsky accused Britain of most of the worlds ills including fomenting the 18th-century war between Russia and Sweden, the Russian-Japanese war, World War I, the October Revolution, World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The British provoked perestroika, Zhirinovsky said. He accused former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of pushing former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to make liberal reforms.

Journalists Reuters journalists, in particular were are on the payroll of Britains Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6 the most disgusting secret service in the world Zhirinovsky said.

The embassys press service is also working for MI6, he alleged.

With Russian-British relations at a low following the closure of two regional British Council centers and with the March 2 presidential election approaching, Zhirinovskys performance was almost a given. While he is largely loyal to the Kremlin, he paints himself as an opposition ultranationalist.

The LDPR had promised an appearance Wednesday by Andrei Lugovoi, the partys newly elected State Duma deputy who is wanted in Britain for purportedly murdering Andrei Litvinenko, but whom Russia has refused to extradite.

One foreign journalist suggested that Lugovoi might have been pushed onto British territory had he shown up. But there was no Lugovoi, and so it was a typical one-man show from Zhirinovsky.

Before his spoke, eight LDPR supporters, including an 11-year-old girl, held up flags that read: Russia Has Never Been a British Colony. One party official insisted that 12 supporters had turned up.

Now and again a motorist would beep a horn on the embankment possibly in support unless it was an enraged Jaguar driver telling Zhirinovsky to cease his anti-British rhetoric.

In time, said Zhirinovsky, hitting his stride, Britain will be recognized as the most barbaric country on the planet.

A British Embassy spokesman declined to comment on the long list of accusations.

Apart from his few supporters, Zhirinovsky had one other fan in tow: Iren Ferrari, known as the biggest chest in Russia, who wandered down to watch and to pose in the cold for photographers, her coat open and trembling dog, Bentley, in her arms.

I do not agree with what Britain does in relation to Russia, Ferrari said, accusing Britain of aggressive politics as photographers clicked away.

When asked if she could elaborate, Ferrari said, What clever questions you ask, and giggled.

Zhirinovsky, who insisted that he was not giving a campaign speech, did offer one way for the two countries to mend ties.

In the end, Britain will have to give freedom to Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland ... and that will only leave London, which, because of [global] warming, will constantly flood, he said. And the time will come, maybe, when we will have to accept immigrants because of the climate.

He also demanded that British Ambassador Anthony Brenton leave his post.

Wrapping up his speech, Zhirinovsky told reporters: Its cold. Go home have some tea, and then in the evening go and get your salary at the embassy, one from the ambassador, one from MI6.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs 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 clubs 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 SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees 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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