Vladimir Zhirinovsky shrugged off criticism Wednesday over his latest brawl on the floor of Russia’s parliament, and said the woman he fought with probably enjoyed it.
“Such women dream of being raped, but no one wants them,” the headline-seeking ultranationalist said of fellow lawmaker Yevgenia Tishkovskaya, whom he grabbed by the hair and throat in Saturday’s scuffle.
Tishkovskaya said she planned to sue the 49-year-old Zhirinovsky for 100 million rubles ($22,000). She and other lawmakers demanded he be tossed out of the Duma and that criminal proceedings be started against him.
President Boris Yeltsin expressed “distress” Wednesday over the scuffle, which erupted during a debate on NATO airstrikes on Bosnian Serb targets. It started when nationalist lawmaker Nikolai Lysenko obeyed Zhirinovsky’s order to rip a crucifix from the neck of liberal lawmaker Gleb Yakunin, a defrocked Russian Orthodox priest.
Tishkovskaya rushed to Yakunin’s defense, and Zhirinovsky plunged into the fray. When Tishkovskaya punched Zhirinovsky in the stomach, he grabbed her by the throat, then punched her head, grabbed her hair and knocked off her glasses.
Zhirinovsky, known for brawling both in and out of parliament, expressed no remorse. “It will bring me more votes,” he said.