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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.





 


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Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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