The leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party is warning that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, it will lead to war. In a recent interview with Reuters, State Duma Chairman Vladimir Zhirinovsky said:
"Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere."
Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia), is considered by many to be Donald Trump’s Russian counterpart, employing fiery rhetoric and populist views, employing vulgar, and all too often racist and misogynistic ideals:
"His combative style, reminiscent of Trump’s, ensures him plenty of television air time and millions of votes in Russian elections, often from the kind of blue-collar workers who are the bedrock of the U.S. Republican candidate’s support," according to Reuter’s Andrew Osborn.
"Zhirinovsky once proposed blocking off mostly Muslim southern Russia with a barbed wire fence, echoing Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico."
Unlike Trump, however, Zhirinovsky is a veteran politician of twenty-seven years, having co-founded what would become the Liberal Democratic Party, promoting right-wing, imperialist ideals. While his outrageous warning may simply appear to be bluster from yet another outspoken politician trying to scare Americans into voting for his own interests, Zhirinovsky does offer this:
"He (Trump) won’t care about Syria, Libya and Iraq and why an earth should America interfere in these countries? And Ukraine. Who needs Ukraine?"
And in this, Zhirinovsky has a point: There is the possibility that Trump would take an isolationist approach, preferring to focus more on domestic matters, leaving other countries that he feels America doesn’t have a stake in to take care of their own problems.
Conversely, Clinton will likely try to broker peace in the regions Zhirinovsky mentions — but good intentions like this can backfire if these negotiations go poorly, and can cause an increase in tensions between the sponsor states that are involved, possibly leading to the war Zhirinovsky is warning of.
But ignoring these conflicts would work in Russia’s favor, allowing Moscow to further its expansionist ambitions, as illustrated by Putin’s support of the Assad regime in Syria, and Moscow’s backing of Russian rebels in Ukraine. This, however, might very well be what Zhirinovsky has in mind — and might very well be why President Putin is keeping mum regarding Zhirinovsky’s seemingly blustery rhetoric.