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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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