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Russia: Zhirinovsky Causes Brawl At Victory Day Ceremony

Moscow, 8 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian media say ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky assaulted two TV journalists today after they tried to film him being refused entry to a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier outside the Kremlin.

Zhirinivsky, who apparently was late for the ceremony, was barred from the memorial by presidential guards just as President Boris Yeltsin was laying flowers.

One of the reporters was said to be bruised on the face during the scuffle.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzkhov called the incident "totally disgraceful." Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov said that "Zhirinovsky must be brought to answer for his hooliganism" and promised to deal with police who failed to intervene.

Zhirinovsky, a State Duma deputy, enjoys immunity from prosecution unless the chamber lifts it. He has not commented on the incident.