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16:40 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Russia

Russian ultranationalist Zhirinovsky nominated for president

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Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant and controversial Russian ultranationalist politician, was nominated on Thursday as a candidate for the country's March 2, 2008 presidential election.
MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant and controversial Russian ultranationalist politician, was nominated on Thursday as a candidate for the country's March 2, 2008 presidential election.

He was nominated by his party, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).

Speaking at an LDPR congress in Moscow, Zhirinovsky said he was seeking to turn Russia into a parliamentary republic.

He also urged efforts to curb corruption, saying it was "the most appalling social woe," and highlighted Russia's territorial integrity as a key point in his election program.

Zhirinovsky once confessed to dreaming of a day when Russian soldiers could "wash their boots in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean," and to have threatened to seize Alaska from the United States as well as invade ex-Soviet Baltic states in order to get access to their ports.

Zhirinovsky came third in the presidential election in 1991. His party, which was the first to emerge in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has since enjoyed modest popularity, although its ratings have tended to decline of late. In the latest, December 2, parliamentary polls, the LDPR came third, gaining 8.2% of the vote.

Although he is often portrayed as a fierce critic of the government, Zhirinovsky and his party generally support Kremlin initiatives in parliament.