Russian Nationalist’s Vile Attack on a Journalist

If you think Vladimir Putin is bad (and he is), Vladimir Zhironovsky may be even worse. A far-right Russian nationalist, Zhironovsky over the weekend made a disgusting attack on a female journalist who asked an entirely reasonable question at a press conference about possible Russian sanctions against the Ukraine and against another woman who questioned his behavior toward her.

Vladimir Zhironovsky, of the pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party, launched into an animated tirade against RT journalist Stella Dubovitskaya, – who is six months pregnant – after she asked him an innocuous questions about possible sanctions against the pro-Western government of Ukraine, according to the Daily Mail.

Responding to her question, Zhironovsky grabbed two of his male aides, telling them, “When I say, you run to her and violently rape her” before shoving them in her direction and shouting: “Go and kiss her. Grab her.”

Male and female journalists in attendance were shocked at the outburst with one male journalist asking, “She is pregnant, why are you attacking her?”

Yulia Chuchalova of news agency Interfax spoke up in defense of Dubovitskaya, telling the politician, “This is derogatory, humiliating – what are you doing here?”

Zhirinovsky shouted back, “What are you doing intervening here, you lesbian? Get out of here.”

“There are pregnant women at the Maidan [Independence Square in Kiev, scene of the Ukrainian Revolution] and here as well, druggies and what have you, ” he continued. “We need healthy people. Pregnant women should not show up at work. Sit at home and look after your child, got that?”

Zhirinovsky ended his tirade with “Get out of here, you damned lesbians.”

I asked for people who speak Russian to translate the video to make sure that he actually did say to rape her; this did come from the Daily Mail, after all. One person said that they didn’t hear the word for rape, but he could have used some colloquialism he didn’t recognize. The other said she did hear the word for rape. Either way, the rest of it is vile enough on its own.

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  • Tekore

    Not that logic necessarily matters to some people, but did “lesbian” translate from Russian to English correctly? or is there some knowledge I am lacking on the use of the word? (not that there being a different meaning makes that much of a difference to the terrible comments/actions)

  • Synfandel

    Zhirinovsky has been around for decades and has always been an authoritarian, nationalistic, antisemitic, ranting buffoon. This latest incident, while appalling, is not at all surprising. It’s completely in character.

  • shouldbeworking

    It is clear to me now why the GOP are so much in love with Putin.

  • caseyboucher

    I speak a little Russian (not much, admittedly), I was able to pick up on him saying that she shouldn’t be working twice in that tirade. He did tell his aides to grab her, but I didn’t hear him telling them to do anything “violently” to her or to rape her.

    Of course, my Russian vocabulary is pretty limited, and he did use several words with which I am unfamiliar, so it is quite possible that he did say that.

  • colnago80

    Re Synfandel @ #2

    Zhirinovsky has been around for decades and has always been an authoritarian, nationalistic, antisemitic, ranting buffoon.

    Rather fine that as his father is buried in a cemetery in Israel. There was an article published in one of the Israeli newspapers several years describing his visit to his father’s grave.

  • iknklast

    She is pregnant, why are you attacking her?

    I found this disturbing. It appears to be saying it is OK to attack a woman who is not pregnant.

  • busterggi

    The Republicans have clearly taken over the Russisn government.

  • d.c.wilson

    If he were an American, he’d be running as a tea party candidate for the US Senate.

  • Set Kouwenhoven

    I asked my wife—who’s from Eastern Europe and speaks fluent Russian—to watch the video, and her mouth was agape through the entire second half. She said that he did indeed tell the assistant to rape the woman “roughly.”

    Apparently this guy is the craziest politician in the entire country, but misogyny is so rampant in Russia that he not only keeps getting elected, but passes for “affable.”

  • grumpyoldfart

    The video shows the two underlings actually attempting to obey orders. One of them even puts his arms around a woman – and then turns around with a dopey look on his face as if to say, “Is this the right one boss?”

  • Nick Gotts

    Zhirinovsky has an interesting history. His “Liberal Democratic Party” (he presumably chose the most inappropriate name he could think of – calling him a fascist sometimes seems almost unfair to fascists) seems to have been set up, in the USSR’s dying days, as a faux opposition, backed and funded by the KGB. Although at one time he looked like a serious contender for power, he now appears to play the same role for Putin, serving to make the latter look good by comparison, and to float extremist policies to test public reaction. He also appears to be a real example of that frequently misidentified phenomenon, the antisemitic Jew, or person with recent Jewish ancestry (his father).