Far-right Russian politician dies 'from Covid-19'

Far-right Russian politician dies 'from Covid-19'

April 6, 2022

Far-right Russian politician who gave away the exact date of Putin’s Ukraine invasion dies ‘from Covid-19’ – despite boasting he’d had EIGHT jabs – weeks later

  • Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 75, died 15 weeks after giving away the date of the invasion
  • Far-right politicians had boasted of having received  eight jabs against the virus
  • He fell ‘seriously ill’ just days after accidentally announcing Vladimir Putin’s plan
  • Came amid rumours his slip in parliament on December 22 angered the Kremlin

A far-right Russian politician who gave away the exact date of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has allegedly died from Covid-19. 

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 75, died from the virus only 15 weeks after he announced the invasion date, despite boasting that he had received eight Covid jabs. 

Zhirinovsky became ‘seriously ill’ days after almost exactly predicting the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – eight weeks before it happened.

Zhirinovsky was admitted to hospital ‘seriously ill’ with the virus days after almost exactly predicted the date Putin would eventually invade Ukraine, according to Russian media. 

On December 22, 2021, he told MPs in a speech that the invasion would start on 22 February, though it actually began on the evening of February 23, and heralded a ‘new direction in Russian foreign policy’. 

It was Zhirinovsky’s last speech in the State Duma and his disappearance came amid rumours he had annoyed the Kremlin by announcing an invasion that Putin wanted to keep quiet about.  

Far-right Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 75, (pictured with President Putin) who gave away the exact date of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, has allegedly died from Covid-19

Zhirinvosky, a candidate in all but one post-Soviet presidential election in Russia, told MPs before falling ill: ‘Russia will finally become a great country again. And everyone has to shut up, and respect our country. 

‘Otherwise they will shut us up, and destroy Russians first in the Donbas, and next in the west of Russia. So let’s support the new direction in Russia’s foreign policy.’

Parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin today announced the death, having denied earlier reports he had passed away.

‘After a serious and prolonged illness, Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky has passed away,’ he said, describing Zhirinovsky as a ‘bright, talented politician’ who ‘deeply understood how the world works’.

Russian MPs stood to honour the memory of a politician who had stood six times unsuccessfully to be Kremlin leader since the fall of Communism. Zhirinvosky was known for provocative stunts and anti-Western tirades that kept him in the public eye for more than three decades.

He gave outrageous and headline-grabbing statements, including threats to launch nuclear weapons against various countries, seize Alaska from the United States, and expand Russia’s frontiers to the point where its soldiers could ‘wash their boots in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean’.

‘The scale of his personality is such that without him it is difficult to imagine the history of the development of the political system of modern Russia,’ parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said in a tribute.

Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) – a name that belied its xenophobic views – became part of the so-called ‘systemic opposition’ to President Vladimir Putin.

Ostensibly it provided political competition; in practice it backed him when it mattered, for instance over the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Zhirinovsky also proved useful to the Kremlin in floating radical opinions to test public reaction. 

Nina, 74, reacts as she walks past buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling in Borodyanka, in the Kyiv region

Serhii Lahovskyi, 26, and other residents carry the body of Ihor Lytvynenko to bury him in Bucha, April 5, 2022

At one time Zhirinovsky liked comparing himself to Donald Trump, declaring in 2016 that Americans should vote for Trump as president or risk being dragged by his rival Hillary Clinton into a new world war with ‘Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere’.

His career took off in 1991 when he claimed a surprise third place in a presidential election won by Boris Yeltsin. Two years later, his LDPR took second place in a parliamentary election.

He is expected to be succeeded by ‘poisoner’ Andrei Lugovoy, 55, who is wanted in Britain on suspicion of murdering Putin foe Alexander Litvinenko by spiking his tea with deadly radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006. 

A radioactive trail followed Lugovoy, who risks extradition to Britain if he leaves Russia, and co-accused Dmitry Kovtun back to Russia, which refused to extradite the pair to face a murder trial in Britain. 

Others vying for the leadership of the Liberal-Democratic party are prominent politician Leonid Slutsky, accused four years ago of sex abuse by a prominent woman TV presenter, and Mikhail Degtyarev, parachuted by Putin to the role of governor of Khabarovsk region to halt a wave of protests.  

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