Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky launched his extraordinary tirade after reporter Stella Dubovitskaya asked him an innocuous question about sanctions against Ukraine.
The 67-year-old MP’s outburst came before a deadly gunfight at a Ukraine checkpoint controlled by pro-Russian separatists tore apart an Easter truce.
The attack raised tensions and led separatists to call for Russian military intervention to protect civilians
Moscow and local militia claimed five people were killed in the firefight at around 1am yesterday near Slavyansk, blaming a far-right group for the attack.
‘The Easter truce has been violated,’ the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
‘This provocation…testifies to the lack of will on the part of the Kiev authorities to rein in and disarm extremists.’
But Ukraine has accused Moscow of a ‘cynical provocation’ staged by outside forces.
Yesterday Pope Francis prayed in his Easter message that God would ‘enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine, so that all those involved…will make every effort to prevent violence’.
The fatal assault was the first serious violence since last week’s signing of a proposed peace plan between Russia, Ukraine, the US and the European Union.
The deal requires illegal military groups to disband and for gangs to leave seized buildings.
It was rejected by separatist leaders, who still occupy police stations and government offices in at least ten cities. Ukraine’s interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of trying to ‘restore the Soviet Union.’