Russian politician who predicted exact date of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dies

The Russian politician who predicted the exact date Vladimir Putin's troops would move into Ukraine has died after a serious and prolonged illness.

Leader of the Russian Liberal Democrat Party (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky died at the age of 75 in a hospital in Moscow.

The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin announced the news, with the renowned anti-Western politician dying after a lengthy illness, the Daily Mirror reports.

Zhirinovsky was well-known for provocative stunts and tirades against Western powers which kept him in the public eye for more than three decades.

Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, called Zhirinovsky "a bright, talented politician" and "a man who deeply understood how the world works and foresaw many things".

The LDPR leader made headlines after correctly predicting the date of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in a speech made on December 27, 2021.

Speaking in December, Zhirinovsky said: "At 4am on February 22, you will feel [our new policy]. I would like 2022 to be a peaceful year. But I love the truth, for 70 years I have been telling the truth. It will not be peaceful.

"It will be a year when Russia becomes great again."

Volodin announced doctors were fighting to save the life of the veteran politician on March 25, batting down at-the-time incorrect statements that Zhirinovsky had died.

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Russian media had reported Zhirinovsky had been in ill-health for some time after contracting Covid-19 despite having reportedly received eight doses of the vaccine.

In recent years, Zhirinovsky, who spent more than 30 years as the far-right leader of the LDPR, had been dubbed "Russia's Trump" with his political style compared to the former US president.

He was also known for controversial moments such as attacking political opponents and on one occasion allegedly instructing aides to rape a pregnant journalist.

Some theorised that some of Zhirinovsky's outlandish proposals were trial balloons planted by the Kremlin looking to test the waters before adopting the idea themselves.

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