Notorious Russian MP pushes for ‘Day of Empire’

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, phot. TASS

Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) is set to submit a proposal to establish the Day of Empire for the lawmakers’ consideration, news agency RIA Novosti reports.

October 22, 2021 will be the 300th anniversary of proclaiming the Russian Empire by Peter the Great. On this occasion, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky instructed party fellows to develop a bill on the introduction of the new national holiday in Russia and lay it before the State Duma.

According to him, the empire is the most effective form of government that ‘protects other nations and strengthens itself and its interests’.

“Russia defended Georgia from Persians, Armenia – from Turks, Kazakhs from Dzungars, Zaporizhian Sich from Poles and Ottomans, Belarusians from Lithuanians. After all, as a result of numerous defensive wars, Russia incorporated Poland and Baltic countries, and they [wars] ended,” the politician believes.

It should be noted, however, that the lands of present-day Belarus and Lithuania were part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a European state which started to be formed in the 13th century; later, Old Belarusian became its official language. In 1569, the Duchy united with Poland, but at the end of the XVIII century. the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was partitioned by the Russian Empire, Austria and the Kingdom of Prussia. In turn. the Russian Empire banned the Belarusian language for a long time: any protests or uprisings were put down by the Russian authorities.

The deputy is widely thought to be acting as the Kremlin’s unofficial voice. He won his vicious reputation for a number of controversial statements and deeds. For example, he advanced the ideas of the partition of Ukraine and bombing Kyiv from the rostrum of the State Duma and on state-run TV channels.

In August 2014б Zhirinovsky put forward the initiative to change the current national anthem for ‘God Save the Tsar’ and replaced the Russian tricolor by the imperial flag. Furthermore, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin should take a new position – that of ‘The Supreme Ruler’.

In September 2019, Vladimir Zhirinovsky called on Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to ‘make a historic step’ towards the unified state of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.