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Radical Lawmaker May Face Mental Health Probe

Published: June 16, 2014 (Issue # 1815)



  • The online petition asserts that the lawmaker may suffer from schizophrenia, an inferiority complex and "living in her own world."
    Photo: Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Russian lawmakers face a delicate conundrum as a petition requesting an assessment of the mental health of one of their own flock has gathered more than 103,000 signatures on the web. President Vladimir Putin ordered the parliament last year to review any online petition that gains upwards of 100,000 backers.

The latest petition to cross the threshold targets ultraconservative lawmaker Yelena Mizulina, a self-styled custodian of public morals and crusader against the LGBT lifestyle and the so-called "pedophile lobby."

The petition launched on Onlinepetition.ru, which reached the required amount of signatures on Thursday, lambasted Mizulina over her "proposals to ban everything online."

It also asserted claims that the lawmaker may suffer from schizophrenia, an inferiority complex and "living in her own world."

Though the petition does not seek Mizulina's removal "from the post that she gained through democratic procedures," it does ask the Health Ministry to deploy its "best experts" for an assessment of her "mental health." If the results prove less than satisfactory, the lawmaker should be dismissed, according to the petition.

Mizulina had not commented on the petition as of this article's publication and could not be reached for comment on Sunday. The Duma and the Health Ministry also remained silent on the issue.

The 59-year-old lawmaker, who maintains the appearance of a strict grade-school teacher, has risen in recent years to become one of the most prominent newsmakers in the Duma.

Mizulina — who crossed party lines on three occasions before aligning with the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia — first scored nationwide notoriety in 2013 when she co-penned a bill banning "LGBT propaganda among minors."

Among her most recent initiatives was a proposal for extrajudicial blocks on websites containing expletives — an expansion of a website-blocking law she previously introduced that arguably kickstarted censorship of the Russian Internet.

Mizulina has also backed a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children, campaigned against abortion and surrogate motherhood, proposed fines for divorcees, and sought to introduce mention of Orthodox Christianity in Russia's current, secular Constitution.

Mizulina's impassioned promotion of conservative morality has made her a favorite target of Russian liberals. Last June, socialite-turned-opposition supporter Ksenia Sobchak even accused Mizulina of preparing a ban on the "promotion of oral sex," though the claim was later debunked.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



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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