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Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian nationalist politician and repeat Presidential candidate whose anti-West rhetoric and incendiary television appearances made him one of Russia’s now prominent public figures for three decades, has died. He was 75 years old.


Mr. Zhirinovsky passed away after a protracted and serious illness, according to Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament or State Duma.

Many in Russia have praised Mr. Zhirinovsky for his apparent prescience. In an address to parliament in late December, two months before Moscow launched a full-scale Invasion of Ukraine, they said Russia would finally make itself heard.

“This won’t be a peaceful year,” he said. “It will be a year when Russia finally becomes a great country again and everyone has to shut up and respect us.”

Mr. Zhirinovsky was the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party, a political organization that pushed far-right policies focused on advancing the rights of ethnic Russians and often railing against mass labor Migration from Central Asia.

He was a key player in bolstering Russia’s sanctioned systemic opposition, one of the main pillars of President Vladimir Putin’s rule that consists of political forces nominally competing with the ruling United Russia party but in practice allying with it on issues of importance to the Kremlin.

A six-time Presidential contender, Mr. Zhirinovsky became known for headline-grabbing statements on state TV, where he was a regular guest on political talk shows that traditionally advance an anti-Western line. He threatened to use nuclear weapons against Russia’s adversaries and to annex Alaska from the US

In a statement published on the Kremlin website, Mr. Putin described Mr. Zhirinovsky as an “experienced politician” and “lively orator” who “always, in every Auditorium and in the most heated discussions, defended the patriotic position and the interests of Russia . ”


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