For the first time in its history, the Russian parliament is about to expel one of its members for mixing private interests with public service. The move would be a triumph, were it not aimed at one of the most vociferous opponents of President Vladimir Putin.
“Are you totally out of your mind?” Russian newspaper tycoon Alexander Lebedev exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. He stared combatively at property developer Sergei Polonsky, who had taunted Lebedev for ridiculing his claim to be a major charity donor.
President Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia will vote to expel opposition legislator Gennady Gudkov from the lower house of Parliament, or State Duma, Interfax reported, citing party member Andrey Vorobyev.