An essential figure in Russian political life, the leader of the nationalist LDPR party Vladimir Zhirinovsky is dead. He was known for his controversial outings and his radical positions.
The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and nationalist veteran of Russian political life Vladimir Zhirinovsky has died at the age of 75, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, announced on April 6. He was hospitalized after contracting Covid-19 before the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
“His personality is so enormous that it is difficult to imagine the evolution of the political system of modern Russia without him,” Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel about the late politician. “He deeply understood how the world worked and predicted many things,” he continued.
“Vladimir Zhirinovsky was an experienced, energetic politician, open to discussion and a brilliant orator and polemicist,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement. “Always, regardless of the audience, in the most tense conversations, he defended a patriotic position and the interests of Russia,” added the head of state.
His death “is a blow to Russia, to the army of its supporters”, commented for its part the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) which he led for more than 30 years.
Ranked on the far right of the Russian political spectrum, Vladimir Zhirinovsky has participated in almost all the presidential elections in modern Russia and his party has always been represented in local and national bodies.
He was particularly known for his radical positions and his provocations. The leader of the LDPR had for example proposed in 2015 to “burn Paris and atomize Berlin”, recallsand The world in an obituary dedicated to the character. He also distinguished himself in 2018 by copiously insulting candidate Xenia Sobchak during a televised debate, which earned him a glass of water in his face in return. AFP recalls that he had also fought with a deputy in the precincts of Parliament.
His fellow deputies paid tribute with a minute of silence in the Duma. Vladimir Zhirinovsky had been in agony by many Russian media for weeks after contracting Covid-19. Vyacheslav Volodin reported a “long illness”. The Ministry of Health told Russian agencies that “great specialists, doctors, fought for his life to the end”.