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Today, the 67-year-old politician responded by saying that politicians in Ukraine were “nymphomaniacs” – using the outdated derogatory phrase “uterine frenzy”.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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Freight Forward Senior Operator

£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This logistics firm are looking...

Recruitment Genius: Lead Marketing Specialist

£34500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A lead marketing specialist is required ...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician - 2nd / 3rd Line

£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Technician is req...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map