6 Apr 2022 13:20

Russian Liberal Democratic Party leader Zhirinovsky passes away - Duma speaker

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) - Russian Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has passed away, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.

"It has just been reported that Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky has passed away following a protracted and severe illness. Let us honor his memory," Volodin said at a Duma meeting on Wednesday.

The Duma observed a moment of silence and recessed for an hour.

Zhirinovsky was born in Almaty on April 25, 1946. Together with Vladimir Bogachev, he founded the Soviet Liberal Democratic Party (which was later renamed the Russian Liberal Democratic Party) in 1989. Zhirinovsky has been a Duma deputy since 1993.

According to the Russian Health Ministry, he was hospitalized with Covid-19 on February 9, 2022.

Doctors fought for the life of LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky until the end, providing all medical assistance possible in this situation, the Russian Health Ministry press service said.

"Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, a well-known politician and public figure, died at the age of 75 after a difficult and long-term illness. Leading specialists and doctors fought for his life until the end, providing all the medical assistance possible in this situation," the Russian Health Ministry said in a report.

The Health Ministry offers condolences to Zhirinovsky's relatives and colleagues.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent to the State Duma condolences on the death of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Kremlin press service said.

"Vladimir Zhirinovsky was an experienced politician, an energetic and open man, an outstanding speaker and polemist. He was the founder and unflinching leader of one of the country's oldest political parties; he has done a lot for the formation and development of Russian parliamentarism, domestic legislation, and he sincerely wanted to make a contribution to the solutions of vital national tasks. And he always defended the patriotic position and the interests of Russia in any audience, in the most acute discussions," the president said in his telegram.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also offered his condolences. He called Zhirinovsky one of the most outstanding politicians, an authoritative statesman and an extraordinary person.

"Vladimir Volfovich was a true patriot, and he devoted his entire life to serving the Motherland, millions of our citizens. Voters trusted him for many years. As the leader of the LDPR and a deputy of all State Duma convocations, he made a big contribution to the development of our country, the improvement of domestic legislation, and he always defended Russians' interests professionally and consistently, caring about improvements to their lives and wellbeing," Mishustin said.

Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky has been appointed acting head of the LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) faction in the lower house of the Russian parliament, deputy faction head Yaroslav Nilov said.

"We held a meeting to unanimously appoint our parliamentarian Leonid Eduardovich Slutsky as acting head of the faction and are concentrating all our efforts on preparations for the funeral," Nilov told reporters at the State Duma on Wednesday.

"The faction offers condolences to all his family members and friends, and all those who were caring for and helping [Zhirinovsky] during that difficult period, while he was on sick leave," Nilov said.