MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russian lawmakers led a rally outside the American Embassy in Moscow on Tuesday, with a parliamentarian who hopes to become the capital’s next mayor calling for the ambassador to pass on a pair of American flag underwear for a controversial musician to “wipe himself.”
The rally, staged by the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), was in protest of an apparent desecration of a Russian flag at a recent concert by American rock band Bloodhound Gang in Ukraine. A YouTube video of that incident shows the band’s bassist cramming a Russian flag down his pants and literally wiping his butt with it.
In an address directed at US Ambassador Michael McFaul, who did not attend the rally, mayoral candidate Mikhail Degtyarev held up a pair of stars-and-stripes underwear and said: “I will give this underwear to you [McFaul], so that you pass it on to the idiot who desecrated the Russian flag.”
“Let him wear it and wipe himself with it – not with our flag,” said Degtyarev, whose party is known for its conservative and often outspoken positions. Last week Degtyarev, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, initiated legislation to entitle women to two “critical” days off work when they are menstruating.
LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, vice speaker of the lower house of parliament, also led Tuesday's rally.
McFaul had earlier said on Twitter that the bassist’s incident was “disgusting,” but he said the US Constitution’s First Amendment protects flag desecrators from punishment in the United States. Flag desecration is, however, illegal in many other countries.