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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

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 todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations 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.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans 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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