Russian nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky dies at 75

A senior Russian lawmaker whose sulphurous rhetoric and antics alarmed the West but appealed to citizens' aggrievement and wounded pride has died at age 75

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 06 April 2022 11:54 BST

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Russian nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a senior lawmaker whose sulphurous rhetoric and antics alarmed the West but appealed to Russians’ aggrievement and wounded pride, has died at age 75, the speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament said Wednesday.

State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Zhirinovsky died after “a serious and prolonged illness.” The lawmaker was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Feb. 2; in late March, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Zhirinovsky was “in serious condition.”

As the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party for three decades, Zhirinovsky was infamous for making vehement statements that were neither liberal nor democratic, and typically delivered with a ferocious glare.

He advocated for Russia to forcefully regain control of Alaska from the United States, suggested that Russia hit former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s residence with a nuclear weapon and said he wanted a DNA test to see if he was related to Donald Trump.

While Zhirinovsky played the role of a wild man, many saw him as a tamed one submissive to the Kremlin. In parliament, his party routinely voted to support measures put forth by the more stolid United Russia party, which is President Vladimir Putin’s power base.

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