The events in Ukraine have been replaced in the information space by the message about the death of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. It is hardly worth reminding once again that the attitude towards him in Russian society was extremely contradictory. They admired him, hated him, laughed at him, parodied him, but there were no indifferent to his person in Russia. Perhaps, in the entire modern history of the country, he was one of the most popular politicians. Here is just a small range of statements about him in social networks, statements are different, sometimes contradictory, but sincere.
Political scientist Boris Makarenko accurately outlined who could occupy the niche of “liberal democrats” if it were not for Zhirinovsky:
“The uniqueness of the post-communist party policy is that it is a “seller's market” - they vote not for programs, but for slogans and figures that “fit the soul” better. Right-wing populism-indifference + inevitable nationalism (of a very vegetarian nature) - Zhirinovsky held these niches for three decades, not letting figures into them that could be much more dangerous and destructive. For that alone, he deserves credit".
Journalist Sergey Shelin believes that the deceased was just a talented artist:
“As a comedian, he was exceptionally talented. Especially at the peak of his talent, in the 90s. In his speeches to journalists in the Duma at that time, he could then hold the hall for an hour or more. And they listened without stopping. This is the only good thing I can say about the creator of the political language of the Putin era.”
Political analyst Alexander Baunov succinctly outlined the metamorphosis experienced by Zhirinovsky:
“The drama of Zhirinovsky is that you start out as a free political shooter, a collector of insults in a liberating, almost free country, your own master and your own head, and then other quiet, serious men come and begin to busily grow ressentiment and reap the myth. Your performance becomes their reality, and you become an actor in their serf theater. And as often happens when the theater and life change places, the last glimpses of reality were sometimes heard in the actor's remarks. It's better to be scary than to be".
Popular actor Gennady Smirnov regrets that the deceased never realized his talents:
“It’s a pity that Vladimir Volfovich didn’t leave us the book “How to be born an incredibly talented person and spend your only life on some shameful crap” as a legacy. He knew about it like no one else".
Writer and TV presenter Alexander Arkhangelsky is grateful to the politician precisely for his inaction:
“Zhirinovsky, may the Lord forgive, if possible, his many sins, had one single merit. One, I repeat, the only one with all the undoubted political talents that he put into dispersal. He fed on negative energy, pumped out pus from the mass consciousness, ate it with pleasure, but kept the processed substance in himself. He shouted about the war, but did not lead. He babbled about washing his boots in the Indian Ocean, but did not move. That is, he behaved like a theorizing jester, and not like a murderous practitioner. It's not an excuse, but it's not a condemnation either. This is a statement".
Blogger and public figure Kristina Potupchik gratefully recalls the gift that the deceased politician gave her:
“In general, Vladimir Volfovich, among other things, lived for people. I was sincerely interested in what the country and each of its citizens breathe. Hence - vodka, cologne and folk slogans for the party, which, as they say, were composed by Vladimir Volfovich himself. Very accurate slogans, behind which there was a deep understanding of those to whom Zhirinovsky addressed. As for me, during one of the meetings with students, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party handed me his book and 500 rubles, then handed it out to the crowd right from the pack. He did not take my vote then, but he received sincere gratitude, with which I see off one of the most profound politicians of the era.
Writer Alina Vitukhnovskaya calls Zhirinovsky a "grassroots hedonist":
“Zhirinovsky died. And you write that no one will come to weep at his grave. Yes, but. Such people are absolutely indifferent to how they are treated and what will happen after their death. These are grassroots hedonists who went to power in order to satisfy their simplest biological desires. In general, the complication of types and the strengthening of the images of "villains" plays into their hands. The entire recent history of Russia should be considered in a psychiatric and criminal vein. And in no other way".
Political scientist Alexey Makarkin logically questioned the prospects for the Liberal Democratic Party after the leader’s death: “Vladimir Zhirinovsky was a politician who combined the qualities of a public political figure, who effectively used the media resource for three decades, and a party organizer, who created a powerful electoral machine, including and regional structures, and financial support through built relationships with sponsors (with the punctual fulfillment by the party leader of his obligations to them, which does not always happen in politics) and successful GR (Zhirinovsky is the only leader of the parliamentary opposition party - a full holder of the Order of Merit before the Fatherland"; he received his first degree last year). It is clear that there is no adequate replacement for him in the Liberal Democratic Party and cannot be”.