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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

Thursday, July 31


Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Women’s Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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