Politician Receiving State Award From Putin Sings ‘God Save the Tsar!’

Kremlin Press Service

Earlier today, President Vladimir Putin placed a medal around the neck of veteran politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky: the flamboyant and outspoken statesman who leads the nominally opposition Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. After receiving the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland," Zhirinovsky shook the president’s hand and stood at his side for a moment with his trademark grimace, before leaning in to ask Putin if he could say a few words.

Without really waiting for the president’s approval (which came as Zhirinovsky was already turning away), the 70-year-old comfortably took up position behind a microphone and shared his thoughts about the honor now hanging from his neck.

“This medal is called the Order ‘For Merit to the Fatherland,’” Zhirinovsky told the crowd. “We have had three fatherlands: the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the current, new, democratic Russia. And sometimes we debate what ideology and what bonds [unite us]. But in the 19th century, there wasn’t any hesitation, and the Russian Empire had the very best state anthem. It’s literally just four lines.”

Raising his voice and his hands into the air, Zhirinovsky then recited the anthem:

God, save the Tsar!
Strong, sovereign, Reign for glory, For our glory!
Reign to foes' fear, Orthodox Tsar.
God, save the Tsar!

In camera footage recorded by the Russian state television network RT, Zhirinovsky’s audience, which included clergy from Russian Orthodox Church, responded with polite applause.

Vladimir Putin was clapping, too.

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