Support The Moscow Times!

Zhirinovsky Demands Gudkov's Arrest for Trip to U.S.

Gudkov gesturing while on stage at an opposition demonstration last year. Igor Tabakov

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the outspoken leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, has demanded that Just Russia Deputy Dmitry Gudkov be arrested for traveling to the U.S. to speak at a Freedom House forum, state media reported Tuesday.

The forum, titled "New Approach or Business as Usual? U.S.-EU-Russia Relations After Putin's Crackdown," was held in Washington D.C. on March 4.

Human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva and Mikhail Kasyanov, co-chairman of the Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party, also spoke at the event, where the main topic of discussion was how to stop corruption in the Russian government.

In comments to RIA-Novosti, however, Zhirinovsky said that Gudkov, as a representative of the Russian government, cannot travel to other countries and conduct negotiations, and should be deprived of his State Duma seat for betraying his country.

"He is a part of the government and goes to the U.S., which is preparing a war against our country, and he's going there and kowtowing to them," Zhirinovsky said.

"I demand the arrest of Gudkov and the removal of his parliamentary mandate for his betrayal of the country," Zhirinovsky said.

Zhirinovsky's comments follow an earlier statement by A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov that Gudkov did not inform anybody of his trip, and that he himself "learned of the trip only from the newspapers."

Georgy Fyodorov, president of the Aspekt center for political and social research and a member of the Public Chamber, called Gudkov's actions "unethical" and said the Duma's Ethics Committee should look into the incident.

In comments to RIA-Novosti, Gudkov said he paid for the trip with his own money and was ready to provide confirmation of this. "I'm being very open and public [about this]," he said.

He also said he intends to check with the U.S. Embassy to determine which other members of the State Duma and the Public Chamber received U.S. visas recently.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.