Ukraine crisis: Russian pro-Kremlin politician Vladimir Zhironovsky filmed ordering aides to ‘violently rape’ pregnant journalist Stella Dubovitskaya

Right-wing party leader also called reporters ‘lesbians’ and ‘nymphomaniacs’ in abusive rant during press conference

A senior Russian politician has apparently been filmed ordering two male aides to “violently rape” a pregnant journalist during a press conference inside the state Duma.

In an incident described as a “disgrace to the Russian parliament”, the pro-Kremlin leader of the populist nationalist Liberal Democratic party embarked on an abusive misogynist and homophobic rant after being asked a seemingly innocuous question regarding the crisis in Ukraine.

Vladimir Zhironovsky now faces sanctions from the Duma’s ethics commission, including a possible three-month ban from public speaking, as well as legal action from the reporter’s employer, Russia Today.

As TV cameras and other journalists watched, Mr Zhironovsky was asked by Stella Dubovitskaya if he felt there should be a diplomatic response to Ukraine banning the entry of Russian men.

According to a translation by Russia Today, the 67-year-old politician responded by saying that politicians in Ukraine were “nymphomaniacs” – using the outdated derogatory phrase “uterine frenzy”.

He then suggested that the reporter was likely to also be a “nymphomaniac” – and when told to stop being aggressive towards a six-month pregnant woman said: “This is no place for you if you're pregnant… We need healthy people. Pregnant women should not show up at work. Sit at home and look after your child, got that?”

Apparently thinking he was proving his point, Mr Zhironovsky then shoved two male aides towards Ms Dubovitskaya and said: “When I say, you run to her and violently rape her.”

When one of the men started to touch Ms Dubovitskaya, other journalists tried to intervene. Yulia Chuchalova, reporting for the news agency Interfax, told the politician his actions were “derogatory” and “humiliating”, to which he responded: “What are you doing intervening here, you lesbian? Get out of here.”

Mr Zhironovsky, who is well-known in Russia for his exaggerated public outbursts, last night issued an apology to Ms Dubovitskaya in a live TV interview. He said he had spoken “a bit rudely” and said he was sorry if he “happened to offend someone”.

The Duma’s lower house speaker Sergey Naryshkin told the Interfax agency that he condemned Mr Zhironovsky’s behaviour and that he has asked the ethics commission to report on the incident.

Russia Today’s director Margareta Simonyan said the agency had “decided to use all legal options to punish Mr Zhirinovsky as severely as possible”.

The Liberal Democratic leader was described as one of Russia’s “veteran” politicians, who career in public affairs dates back to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

His comments during the incident on Friday came before Ukraine’s Easter truce, drawn up with the help of Russia, the US and the EU, was shattered by the latest fatal assault in a village near Slovyansk.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Financial Trading Training Advisor - OTE £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's leading CV writing com...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Injury Fee Earners

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist personal injury...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Executive / Business Development

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen