Last week, the leader of the LDPR party Vladimir Zhirinovsky alarmed the public with many comments made on Russia’s Rossiy-1 TV channel, which many felt was an incitement to ethnic and religious hatred. Zhirinovsky called for the quarantining of the Caucasus, as well as the imposing of a police curfew.
He later defended his comments, implying that they are simply international practices to ward off drug-dealing and “terrorism”, although he did not mention which countries apply such measures. Regardless, his speech angered the 10 million people living in the Caucasus, most of whom are Muslims.
A prominent Russian Orthodox priest, Vsevolod Chaplin, criticized the far-right leader’s comments and was quoted by RT as saying “Russia can have a future only as a community of all peoples that created it and that have formed it over many centuries. This is why the people of the Caucasus who play a serious role in modern Russia’s life and its history, should develop freely, including the freedom to give birth to as many children as they deem necessary. The same applies to the Russian people.”