1. This is Vladimir Zhirinovsky, often referred to as the clown of Russian politics. Leader of the far-right LDPR party, he is also deputy speaker of the Duma. He is known for making outrageous speeches, and for his colorful dress sense.
2. In the lead up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Zhirinovsky, sitting inside a Russian bathhouse, issued a lengthy tirade against the U.S., saying unspeakably racist and sexist things about Condoleezza Rice, then George W. Bush’s national security advisor.
3. Only now may he have gone too far. On Friday, Zhirinovsky went off on a reporter for Russia Today (the newswire, not the television channel), after she asked him about recent Ukrainian moves to crack down on Russian men entering the country.
The reporter, who also happened to be pregnant, asked Zhirinovsky if he thought Russia should bring sanctions in response.
4. “You’re all bloodthirsty!” Zhirinovsky shouted. “You women of the Maidan all have uterine frenzy,” he said, referring to Kiev’s main protest site. “Without that uterine frenzy there wouldn’t have been Maidan.”
5. Then he called out Ukrainian nationalist Irina Farion. “You think she hates Russians? She loves them! Uterine frenzy — no lover, no husband, nothing. She’s got a beast between her legs! And that fire devil rushes upwards through her dumb bitch tongue.”
6. “You have to do things kindly, nicely. Where are those idiots, come here. You come here too, journalist. OK, I’ll say it then you run up and start raping her hard.”
7. Then he started shouting “Christ has risen! Christ has risen!” and pushed an aide towards the journalist, saying “Go kiss her! Go kiss her!”
8. One of the journalist’s colleagues stepped in and said, “What are you doing? She’s a pregnant girl. This is insulting.” Zhirinovsky replied by saying: “This isn’t a place for pregnant people! If you’re pregnant, go home. Better take care of your child.”
9. Then he called the journalist who defended the other journalist “a lesbian” and said she would lose her job.
10. The deputy speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, ladies and gentlemen.
Sexual discrimination, harassment and violence are widespread in Russia, but even this was a step too far for many. Even Maria Zakharova, the foreign ministry’s deputy spokeswoman, wrote on Friday that Zhirinovsky had crossed her “personal red line” by attacking the journalist. And the Duma’s ethics committee has announced it would investigate Zhirinovsky for the outburst.