The bad boy of Kremlin politics, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, made waves again over the weekend when he called for the introduction of authoritarian rule in Russia for "two to three years." Zhirinovsky said that a strong hand was essential to get Russia’s economy under control and that this could not be done by democratic means. (Russian agencies, December 12) Zhirinovsky was addressing supporters on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the founding of his Liberal Democratic Party. He did not say whether he planned to change the name of his party to "Liberal Authoritarian Party."
The LDPR was the USSR’s first officially registered political party. When it was set up, there were strong suspicions that it was created with KGB support in an effort to flush out political activists opposed to the then ruling CPSU. The party remains well represented in the Russian Duma though its influence among the population has been reduced over the years as a result of Zhirinovsky’s eccentric behavior.
Chechnya Will Not Celebrate New Year.