Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, who has recently confirmed that he would be running for the presidential office in the 2018 elections, said that as president, he would "stick to the office until the very end, and [would] eliminate people who impede the country's development." Speaking on the flagship talk show of the federal Russia 1 TV channel on February 5, Zhirinovsky said that he would like to go down in history as Tsar Vladimir the Honest.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky: "(If I were president), I would cancel the constitutional clause that limits the presidency to two terms. I would sit in the Kremlin for as long as people want. Let the people say: 'Leave we are tired of you.' Let the people decide. Let it be a direct democracy. Let the people have their say on the internet. If they are sick of me, I will leave. And if not, I will stick to the office until the very end, and I will eliminate people who impede the country's development."
Interviewer: "Do I understand you correctly? Your secret desire is to be the Tsar of Russia?"
Zhirinovsky: "Why shouldn’t I have that desire?"
Interviewer: "So which Tsar Vladimir would you be? We've had the Great Duke Vladimir the Fair Sun. And you?"
Zhirinovsky: "I'll be Vladimir the First."
Interviewer: "We've already had him."
Zhirinovsky: "Then Vladimir the Second."
Interviewer: "You should have a name that people remember. Ivan was 'Ivan the Terrible.' Peter was 'Peter the Great.' And Ekatrina was also 'the Great'"
Zhirinovsky: "That sounds beautiful. (They would address me): Your Majesty, honorable Vladimir Zhirinovsky, please provide me with an apartment or a job, release me from jail, give me citizenship, give me free medical care..."
Interviewer: "And you would sign 'Reject' on all the appeals."
Zhirinovsky: "On the contrary, I would give the immediate go-ahead for all the appeals."
Interviewer: "So how would you go down in history? As 'Vladimir the Long-Sitting?' 'Vladimir the Never-Leaving?' What kind of Tsar would you be?"
Zhirinovsky: "All over the world there are only two ways to fight political opposition - to keep silent about it or to mock and denigrate it. I have been mocked and denigrated for the past 25 years. But mocking did not work in America (with Trump), because there is an Internet. You can mock me, but people will check the Internet and will vote (for me). The core issue is to hold fair elections, and let people - not electing committees - vote."
Interviewer: "I just want you to define yourself with precision. Someone who examines your career might call you 'Vladimir the Foreseeing.' So how would you like history to judge you? This definition generally characterizes the main feature of the politician. So what would you like history to call you - Vladimir the What?"
Interviewer: "So what's the best definition? 'Vladimir the Truthful' perhaps?"
Zhirinovsky: "One short word is the best. Honest. 'Vladimir the Honest.'"