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Russian Populist Leader Hands Out Cash to ‘Serfs and Slaves’ on Red Square

“Children, disabled people, who else? Orphans, serfs, slaves,” lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky was heard saying as he handed out 1,000-ruble bills ($16). zhirinovskiy / Instagram

A firebrand Russian politician has been filmed handing out cash to revelers on Red Square while referring to them as “serfs and slaves,” live footage captured from his Instagram account showed Sunday.

“Children, disabled people, who else? Orphans, serfs, slaves,” State Duma lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky was heard saying as he gave out 1,000-ruble bills ($16) to passersby. 

Zhirinovsky, who ran for president and lost for the sixth time in 2018, is known for his ultranationalist views and rabble-rousing rhetoric as longtime leader of the Liberal Democratic Party. Previously, the populist leader and his party have drawn public attention by giving away free tattoos and candy.

Zhirinovsky also handed out souvenirs and meat pastries during his visit to Red Square, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.

“Moscow is beautifully decorated, many people are out walking, everyone is in a good mood. Let’s hope the whole year is like this,” Zhirinovsky said in an Instagram post recapping his tour of the Christmas fair near central Moscow’s GUM department store. Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7.

He made no mention of the cash giveaway.

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