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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Liberal Democrats Leader Visited Tuva

Vladimir Zhirinovki. Fhoto from One of the most scandalous Russian politicians, Liberal Democrats leader Vladimir Zhirinovski made a three-hour-long visit to Tuva on Sunday, September 24.

He was met in the airport by a Tuvan representative executive power team - Vice-Prime-Ministers Alexandr Brokert, Sergei Barybin; Minister of Economics Galina Balakina, Internal Affairs Minister Viktor Lesnyak, Culture Minister Zoya Samdan, and Kyzyl mayor Dmitri Dongak.

Upon his arrival Zhirinvski had a twenty-five minute long tete-a-tete meeting with Tuvan prime-minister Sherig-ool Oorzhak, leader of the United Russia party candidates list, which was followed by an interview with Tuvan TV State Broadcasting company.

He visited the Centre of Asia statue where a majority of Tuvan liberal democrats gathered, and took a picture with each of the candidates into the Tuvan parliament.

This very visit of Mr Zhirinovski to Tuva proved again the 'political flexibility' of LDPR in Russia who position themselves as an opposition to power what is underlined in numerous emotional speeches by Zhirinovski, who in the long run always acts in favour of power--supporting its most unpopular decisions while covering it with corresponding rhetorics.

This time he spoke negatively of Life Party in Tuva, the only strong opponent to Sherig-ool Oorzhak and instructed his own team in the republic to keep a neutral position."'What we actually did. We are neither with United Russia nor with the opposition", Irina Babkina, leader of LDPR in Tuva, confessed to 'Tuva-Online' answering a question concerning probable changes in their election campaign after Zhirinovski's visit. This statement does contradict the facts.

Tuvan department of LDPR did take an active part in the 'For Honest Elections' rally organized in Kyzyl against a mass law violations in favour of United Russia. Tuvan Liberal democrates signed an appeal sent to Russia's President Vladimir Putin in which it is stressed that alexistrative resource is actively engaged in the pro United Russia campaign. That the whole republic and its electorate is divided into spheres of responsibility and that Sherig-ool Oorzhak personally assigned a huge army of his direct and indirect subordinates including municipal officials to be responsible for a particular part of voters and they do nothing else but fulfil his commands.

This is not Zhirinovski's first visit to Tuva. He came to Kyzyl in late 1990's to support the only member of LDPR, elected mayor in Russia - Alexandr Kashin. Kashin was an active critic of Sherig-ool Oorzhak and won a mayor election campaign in 1998 because of it. His work in Kyzyl Mayor's office turned into a constant fight against the Government headed since 1992 by Sherig-ool Oorzhak. Once he even went on a hunger strike protesting against Sherig-ool Oorzhak's actions. Zhirinovski then was emotinal in his speech at a mass rally on the Lenin Square criticizing Tuvan authorities. He also took part in a baptizing ritual of Alexandr Kashin's newborn child in a Kyzyl orthodox church as a godfather.

It is not yet known whether Zhirinovki this time showed an interest in the ex-mayor's life and his god-child.

Alexandr Kashin, 42, died last year.

Dina Oyun
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