Zhirinovsky: Unhappy Childhood, Sexual Frustration Led to Politics With AM-Russia-Election
Dec. 15, 1993
MOSCOW (AP) _ An unhappy childhood and painful shyness about sex led Vladimir Zhirinovsky to go into politics, the leader of Russia's extreme nationalist party says in his autobiography.
''I grew up in an atmosphere in which there was no warmth - not from anyone. Not from my parents, not from friends or teachers. I was always somehow unwanted,'' Zhirinovsky wrote.
Zhirinovsky's misleadingly named Liberal Democratic Party was the top vote- getter in Sunday's parliamentary elections. He appealed to the bitterness and wounded pride of Russians suffering from economic turmoil, violent crime and the sudden loss of a centuries-old empire.
The autobiography, published in September, reveals a deeply resentful, lonely man. With uncommon candor, it says that politics became his substitute for friendship and love.
During his student years, Zhirinovsky recalls, he tried to go out with girls but was too timid to have a normal sex life. Instead, his energy went into politics.
''Maybe, just as an artist or a composer needs some kind of unhappiness in order to create, in order to have inspiration, so it was with me. So that I could understand the political processes in society better and more deeply, I was cheated out of something in all other relationships,'' he wrote.
The title of the autobiography, ''The Final March South,'' refers to Zhirinovsky's dream that Russia will grow strong again and expand across much of Europe and Asia.
''The final march south - Russian access to the shores of the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea - that is the real task of saving the Russian nation,'' he wrote.
The 143-page paperback volume, which had a first edition of 75,000, contains many musings on Russian history, strategy and geopolitics.
But the 47-year-old Zhirinovsky, now married with one son, devotes nearly half the book to his troubled childhood in Alma-Ata, the capital of Kazakhstan, and his student years in Moscow.
''I was not lucky in life, because I did not have a close friend. In the courtyard where I grew up, there were five or six local boys, and they were all different. But no warm friendship worked out with any of them. It seems that was already my fate,'' he wrote.
His father, a lawyer, died in a car crash. The family was left poor, and his mother went to work in a cafeteria. Both at school and at home, he felt unloved.
''I was practically never praised, often scolded. I had no successes, I was not a very strong boy. There were no achievements in sports,'' he wrote.
Zhirinovsky moved to Moscow in 1964, at the age of 18, to study at the nation's top university, Moscow State.
''Moscow boys at that time had already started sexual life. But I, a boy from a provincial city, had only had my first kisses. My first attempts to engage in the sexual act were unsuccessful. At the age of 17-18, I was very timid, shy,'' he wrote.
During his student years, Zhirinovsky said, he went to dances and parties but ''I did not really have any girlfriends.''
Gradually, politics came to fill the gap in his personal life.
''Had I had a beloved girl, maybe I would have expended half my energy or more on her. Had there had been a close friend, time would have gone to that. Had there been close relations with my parents, again I would have spent much time with them.
''But as it happened, willingly or not, I gradually became occupied with social questions. ... I thought about society and its problems, about social issues, about relations between people. A constant feeling of dissatisfaction was the stimulus.''