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Today, the 67-year-old politician responded by saying that politicians in Ukraine were “nymphomaniacs” – using the outdated derogatory phrase “uterine frenzy”.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
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
peopleComedian star of Ed Sullivan Show was mother to Ben Stiller
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?