Russian politician gives up haircuts and hygiene for recession

Last time we checked in with the reliably buffoonish Russian ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he was engaging in fisticuffs with his political rivals on live TV. But despite his surly temperment, corruption, and overt racism, Zhirinovsky’s might still mean well after all. Check out the personal finance advice he gave in an interview with RIA-Novosti ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
591405_081126_zhiri5.jpg
591405_081126_zhiri5.jpg

Last time we checked in with the reliably buffoonish Russian ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he was engaging in fisticuffs with his political rivals on live TV. But despite his surly temperment, corruption, and overt racism, Zhirinovsky's might still mean well after all. Check out the personal finance advice he gave in an interview with RIA-Novosti (via Johnson's Russia List):

"I have been thrifty. I am not having my hair cut. My hair has already grown longer than ever. I only shave every other day. I eat very little. I never go out. I never invite anyone over to my place. I don't buy presents for anyone and I am asking people not to buy anything for me. I am not travelling anywhere," he said.

Zhirinovskiy recommended "saving reasonably" and said that this would result in reduced spending. He made several suggestions: "There is no need to buy new clothes. They can be swapped with others. I am prepared to give a couple of suits to someone, several pairs of shoes, a wristwatch. Why go shopping? Turn to each other to get what you would otherwise have to get from a shop."

Last time we checked in with the reliably buffoonish Russian ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he was engaging in fisticuffs with his political rivals on live TV. But despite his surly temperment, corruption, and overt racism, Zhirinovsky’s might still mean well after all. Check out the personal finance advice he gave in an interview with RIA-Novosti (via Johnson’s Russia List):

“I have been thrifty. I am not having my hair cut. My hair has already grown longer than ever. I only shave every other day. I eat very little. I never go out. I never invite anyone over to my place. I don’t buy presents for anyone and I am asking people not to buy anything for me. I am not travelling anywhere,” he said.

Zhirinovskiy recommended “saving reasonably” and said that this would result in reduced spending. He made several suggestions: “There is no need to buy new clothes. They can be swapped with others. I am prepared to give a couple of suits to someone, several pairs of shoes, a wristwatch. Why go shopping? Turn to each other to get what you would otherwise have to get from a shop.”

Zhirinovskiy also said there was no need to spend money on personal hygiene products because “all these are chemical and hazardous”. Fewer newspapers should be bought because the same newspaper can be shared “by all next-door neighbours” or perhaps “the entire block”, he continued.

“As for Christmas celebrations, there is no need to travel abroad or to go to a restaurant. Stay in Moscow, stay at home or invite yourself over to someone else’s place.”

Something tells me Zhirinovsky’s friends might not be so welcoming when he shows up uninvited to their Christmas party without having used personal hygiene products for several weeks.

Photo: Epsilon/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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