Zhirinovsky… where to start!
For those not familiar with Russia’s second most influential politician, let me quote the man himself who said this in November 2015 during a parliament session after the incident of a Russian warplane being shot down by a Turkish F-16:
Russia must detonate a nuclear bomb on the Bosphorus to create a 10 meters high tsunami wave that will wipe out at least 9 million Istanbul residents.
Zhirinovsky is a fierce nationalist, notoriously antisemitic and a highly popular vice chairman of the Russian parliament who holds enormous influence amongst the Russian political elite.
At the time of the incident, he predicted – quite accurately – that Turkey would suffer the consequences of shooting down a Russian warplane through a military coup d’état. Within 12 months, Zhirinovsky’s prediction became a reality.
Putin at the time also is reported to have said the same thing – read more here – yet many seem to have forgotten that these threats were made at the time of the incident. Various coup plotters were blamed, but the instigators were never identified.
For two nations who have diametrically opposed religious, cultural and geopolitical interests, the relationship between Russia and Turkey seems to have quickly and awkwardly become very entwined. History would suggest that this will have serious consequences for Turkey.
The Last Break Southward (1995)
The last break southward is the magnum opus of Zhirinovsky in which he expresses his worldview.
“Since the 1980s, I have elaborated a geopolitical conception—the last break southward, Russia’s reach to the shores of the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.”
This is “really the solution for the salvation of the Russian nation … It solves all problems and we gain tranquility.” Russia will rule the space “from Kabul to Istanbul.”
The United States would feel safer with the Russian rule in the region, since wars there would cease under the Russian rule. Perhaps, some people in Kabul, Teheran, or Ankara would not like it but many people would feel better. “The Persians and Turks would suffer a bit but all the rest would gain.”
His book asserts that the “bells of the Orthodox Church must bell from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.” And Jerusalem becomes close. It is necessary that “the Christian world reunifies in Jerusalem.”
These aspirations are some of the founding principles of Russian nationalism which find their roots in the writings of men like Fyodor Tyutchev – a notable 19th century Russian poet. Tyutchev wrote these words which subsequently came to characterise the Russian nationalism of today:
“Moscow and Peter’s grad, the city of Constantine, these are the capitals of Russian kingdom.
From the Nile to the Neva, from the Elbe to China, from the Volga to the Euphrates, from the Ganges to the Danube, this is the Russian Kingdom and let it be forever,
…just as the Spirit foretold and Daniel prophesied”
~ Fyodor Tyutchev
Quite a grand statement all things considered!
Right in the centre of that aspiring empire, sits Israel and Jerusalem. As we know, Daniel certainly did prophecy that this would eventually happen – Daniel 11:44.
In the most recent turn of events, Zhirinovsky has decided to weigh in on the US presidential elections by saying that “if Hillary Clinton wins, it will be the last US presidency ever”.
In addition to the recent deterioration in diplomatic relations with the US, Russia is posturing for grander ambitions in the Middle East.
The imperialistic ambitions southward are as old as the Tsars themselves, who attempted to invade Turkey when it was global super power. Since then, Turkey has receded into a republic and is far more vulnerable to Russian interests in the middle east.
Whatever the result might be in the US elections within the next few weeks, Zhirinovsky will certainly be a personality worth watching.