Recently, a member of the State Duma lower house of Parliament from the United Russia faction has made a statement which almost went unnoticed. In fact, it would be better if someone paid attention to it. According to it, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and an important and undoubtedly bright politician, might quit the Russian political scene.
The man who came up with the opinion was Vyacheslav Lysakov. He drew attention to Zhirinovsky’s age and said that he had been watching him in the State Duma for a long time. According to Lysakov, Zhirinovsky’s health is getting worse. Thus, he says, the 2021 Parliamentary election might be the last one for Zhirinovsky and his party due to his health condition.
As it turned out later, the fact that Zhirinovsky might quit "big politics" was a subject of serious discussions in the top echelons of state power. Moreover, many people believe that after his departure from the political scene the LDPR party might also fall into oblivion, as it relies on the charisma and energy of its leader.
Not so long ago, the authors of the popular Telegram channel @russica2 expressed their own opinion on the political future facing Zhirinovsky and the LDPR, as well as on the people who would possibly replace Zhirinovsky as the party’s leader.
"The Kremlin inner circle is discussing the possible resignation of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the LDPR's permanent leader, from politics. The political force is preparing to revamp its ranks and to take aboard some younger officials so that the average age of deputies will be around 40. Zhirinovsky himself is already thinking about giving way to the young. According to Zhirinovsky, Alexei Ostrovsky, the governor of the Smolensk region, and Mikhail Degtyarev, the interim governor of Khabarovsk, are the most promising candidates for the position of the LDPR chairperson. However, they both have extremely low popularity ratings. Therefore, their possible future leadership of the party is very questionable. But at present, there are no other promising and young candidates on the political scene.
As an option, experts have called a number of alternative names who might replace Zhirinovsky. "If the party is to be preserved, it will need a solid leader. For example, such as Yury Trutnev, a Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and the President’s plenipotentiary representative," say the sources.
Other experts believe that in fact, the issue of intra-party transit has long become acute for the old opposition. Meanwhile, opposition parties still have serious historical assets that might be squandered, especially if internal stagnation forces them to disappear.
The vast majority of experts are skeptical about the LDPR's political future. In their view, the party has become a one-man brand, and it will be impossible to replace Zhirinovsky. Analysts underline that to establish a completely new party on the basis of the LDPR would be the best option. Moreover, sources say that Degtyarev has no intention of staying in Khabarovsk any longer than the next parliamentary election. Therefore, his comeback to Moscow is likely to happen as soon as the situation in the region stabilizes.