Plots, Plots & More Plots

Rabble rouser Vladimir Zhirinovsky tries to change his image, but can't help talking about Jewish conspiracies

The idea first came up at a Moscow lunch: What if an American correspondent were to accompany Russia's most flamboyant political firebrand on his very first visit to the U.S.? The proposal seemed intriguing, since it came from the Liberal Democratic Party, which normally views Western journalists as foreign agents. My contact stressed that Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the party's leader, had approved the idea.

The assurance was comforting, until I phoned his son to make arrangements. The younger Zhirinovsky's sullen tone made me suspect that I was not a welcome addition to the group -- an impression that was strengthened when I...

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