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Radical Lawmaker May Face Mental Health Probe

Published: June 16, 2014 (Issue # 1815)



  • The online petition asserts that the lawmaker may suffer from schizophrenia, an inferiority complex and "living in her own world."
    Photo: Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Russian lawmakers face a delicate conundrum as a petition requesting an assessment of the mental health of one of their own flock has gathered more than 103,000 signatures on the web. President Vladimir Putin ordered the parliament last year to review any online petition that gains upwards of 100,000 backers.

The latest petition to cross the threshold targets ultraconservative lawmaker Yelena Mizulina, a self-styled custodian of public morals and crusader against the LGBT lifestyle and the so-called "pedophile lobby."

The petition launched on Onlinepetition.ru, which reached the required amount of signatures on Thursday, lambasted Mizulina over her "proposals to ban everything online."

It also asserted claims that the lawmaker may suffer from schizophrenia, an inferiority complex and "living in her own world."

Though the petition does not seek Mizulina's removal "from the post that she gained through democratic procedures," it does ask the Health Ministry to deploy its "best experts" for an assessment of her "mental health." If the results prove less than satisfactory, the lawmaker should be dismissed, according to the petition.

Mizulina had not commented on the petition as of this article's publication and could not be reached for comment on Sunday. The Duma and the Health Ministry also remained silent on the issue.

The 59-year-old lawmaker, who maintains the appearance of a strict grade-school teacher, has risen in recent years to become one of the most prominent newsmakers in the Duma.

Mizulina who crossed party lines on three occasions before aligning with the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia first scored nationwide notoriety in 2013 when she co-penned a bill banning "LGBT propaganda among minors."

Among her most recent initiatives was a proposal for extrajudicial blocks on websites containing expletives an expansion of a website-blocking law she previously introduced that arguably kickstarted censorship of the Russian Internet.

Mizulina has also backed a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children, campaigned against abortion and surrogate motherhood, proposed fines for divorcees, and sought to introduce mention of Orthodox Christianity in Russia's current, secular Constitution.

Mizulina's impassioned promotion of conservative morality has made her a favorite target of Russian liberals. Last June, socialite-turned-opposition supporter Ksenia Sobchak even accused Mizulina of preparing a ban on the "promotion of oral sex," though the claim was later debunked.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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