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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Hardliner's Rhetoric For the Year of the Dog

From bathos-drenched rhetoric to the names for bizarre scientific phenomena and ferocious monsters, Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky's election success brought to light a harvest of interesting words.


Expulsion from Bulgaria and a few other minor glitches aside, Zhirinovsky has attempted to tone down the ultranationalist rhetoric and promises of "new Hiroshimas" since the elections.


Nowadays he denies he ever answered a question on his nationality by saying Mat' russkaya, otets yurist ("My mother is a Russian, my father is a lawyer.")


Luckily, there is plenty of material to debunk Zhirinovsky's attempt to portray himself as a sheep in Wolf's clothing.


Take, for example, his recently published autobiography, "Posledny brosok na yug." You can translate this a number of ways -- I would say "The Final Push South," but a colleague prefers "The Final Play for the South." However, there is no ambiguity in the book's plot, which details Zhirinovsky's plan for Russia's domination of the world.


Zhirinovsky makes no secret of the vindication he feels in his election success after years of being dismissed as a fringe outsider. Political opponents, he says in his speeches, will prosit', na kolenyakh, v slezakh, "beg, on their knees, in tears," for forgiveness.


The same goes for the 14 non-Russian former Soviet republics, who will also "beg, on their knees, with tears in their eyes" to be taken back in the Russian republic.


Zhirinovsky is surrounded by the appropriate imagery to back his tough-guy persona.


He has a newspaper named Sokol Zhirinovskogo, "Zhirinovsky's Falcon." His followers are called sokolyata, or "little falcons."


Supposedly, armies of little falcons have formed all over Russia, ready to go to the support of their leader to impose novy poryadok, "the new order."


More little falcons have allegedly infiltrated the ranks of all parties elected to the new parliament. When it convenes, they will reveal their true identity. The code name of this plan is oboroten', "werewolf."


Vladimir Volfovich himself identifies with an entirely different breed of canine -- the dog. He was born in 1945, god sobaki, the year of the dog according to the Oriental calendar, and welcomed the beginning of a new god sobaki in 1994.


For all of those who refused to believe that so many sensible Russians had voted for this man, the psychologist Mikhail Yeroshevsky recently suggested that Zhirinovsky's barrage of television advertisements during the election campaign were to blame.


Viewers, he said, had become the victims of oklotelepsikhoterapiya -- the mass hypnosis of the crowd through television.