After the terrorist attacks in Brussels in March, 2016, a Russian top official Zhirinovsky, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russia, the leader of the second biggest party on Russia and a five times Presidential Candidate, made the following statement:

That is beneficial for us. Let them perish and die. (Video at Youtube)

I'd like to know how exactly the Russia benefits from these tragic events.

Some observers (like The Washington Post) quickly suggest that the Russians offer the West „closer cooperation with Moscow in the global fight against terrorism“ — obviously, in exchange of loosening economic sanctions for its past and current aggressions.

The Newsweek article, „Brussels Attacks are Good for Russia, Says Nationalist Leader“ also suggests:

Zhirinovsky’s rationale was that after such attacks European countries would see Russia as an ally and align themselves with Moscow. “Let them then come to us and beg us,” Zhirinovsky said.

This does not sound very convincing:

  • The Russian troops has been withdrawn from Syria after making little, if any, harm to ISIS;
  • The retreat has occurred just before the coalition was ready to start ground operation in Syria. If it started, the direct military conflict between the coalition and the Russia would become inevitable;
  • Besides the Middle East, there are no other places the coalition is planning to fight terrorism in the nearest time, and where the Russian troops can be pf any help;
  • The entire behavior of Russian top officials looks like blackmailing: "you either cooperate with us or else wait for more terrorist attacks";
  • This also raises a pretty straightforward question of who is responsible for attacks in Brussels. I'd like this to be out of scope of this question, but it seems that Belgian police has already prevented some terrorist attacks by capturing 16 Russians back in summer 2015 (WSJ).

So, besides of the highly controversial argument of Russian hopes of becoming an ally in fight against terrorism, how exactly the Russia benefits from the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels?

  • 3
    Zhirinovsky is populist who says absolutely different points of view on same event depending on current political situation inside Russia. If you will watch his old videos and current (especially during president election) - you'll find it. In terms of Russian people, he is clown (or jester). So just don't take his words seriously
    – Rustam
    Jul 4, 2017 at 17:42

3 Answers 3


I guess that some people may not know what V.V.Zhirinovskiy really is. He is a kind of "Russian Trump", or, to put it better, Trump is an American pale copy of Zhirinovskiy.

One could make a big book of his speeches. A couple of examples:

My dream is that Russian soldiers wash their boots in Indian ocean
Let each woman has a husband, and let each man has a girlfriend
[About mad cow dicease] Why cows go mad? Because of British democracy
That George [Bush], f**ing cowboy, b**
We will send 10 mln. more Russians to America and will elect new President of USA. And then Bush will get into Butyrka [prison in Moscow]
Everyone should smoke and drink every day. One who stops smoking is at risk of committing a suicide
After former [Russian] President got his pension, the average pension in Russia has increased very much

And so on, and so on.

You should take his quote as Russian edition of "Charlie Hebdo".

And on the matter of how Russia benefits from strikes in Brussels, there is only one answer: Russia won't benefit anything from it. Really, did Russia benefit from Paris attacks? No way. Brussels is just the same.

And a pair of words about other parts of your so-called "question":

The Russian troops has been withdrawn from Syria after making little, if any, harm to ISIS

They haven't. Some go away, and some stay, because talks are in progress and there's no need to keep all of them there. Just now SAA and Russians storm Palmyra (which is held by ISIS)

The retreat has occurred just before the coalition was ready to start ground operation in Syria.

Really? Maybe you know an exact date? Will it be this year or next one? So far so-called "coalition" only tried to convince Kurds to advance, nothing more.

blackmailing: "you either cooperate with us or else wait for more terrorist attacks"

I can put it another way: Either you will do something to prevent it, or it will repeat many times more in future. And that's nothing but true.

This also raises a pretty straightforward question of who is responsible for attacks in Brussels

ISIS, no? Do you have some other theory? OMG.

  • 6
    @bytebuster You should (try to) rephrase your question without any reference to Zhirinovskiy. Could you?
    – Matt
    Mar 25, 2016 at 17:25

My telepathic contraption is currently out of batteries so I cannot really read what Zhirinovsky was thinking of (if he was thinking at all), but here goes some good guesses:

The most plausible: ISIS attacks put pressure on Western governments to fight ISIS in the ground, so they feel pressured to get any deal to stabilize and end the Syrian Civil War. So they would be more inclined to pressure the anti-Assad groups the West supported to agree to a deal that allows Assad to keep its power (which is what Russia wants).

Additionally, there is the possibility that Zhirinovsky counts on European public opinion becoming fixated in the ISIS trouble and putting "out-of-sight" the Russian intervention in Crimea and East Ukraine, so that they no longer support the cost of the policy of economical sanctions against Russia.

Finally, there is the option that Zhirinovsky wishes for the same system that the USA established with some questionable countries after the 2001 attacks. The EU gives free hand to Russian to "get dirty" fighting ISIS and, in exchange, looks the other way in Ukraine and Crimea and other ex-SU territories. Not very likely but hey, we are talking about Zhirinovsky view of the world.

Of course, all of this is just extracted from a single declaration of what a single Russian official (who is known to like making polemic declarations) thinks will happen in the future, so it is yet soon to see if it is Russia official posture.

As another side note, you mix a (completely unfounded)1 claim of blackmail with changing "sixteen Chechens" from the very news you link to "sixteen Russians", probably to suggest some intervention of the Russian government in the Belgium attacks. We all know you usually show a strong anti-Russian opinion; you are entitled to it but it does not justify these clumsy attempts at manipulation which only reflect bad on you.

1Please provide some reference to it if you have any.

  • 1
    The posture of Russian officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the same: time for the West to repent for "double standards" and align with Russia. See Maria Zaharova's public comments on this.
    – Sassa NF
    Mar 26, 2016 at 0:28

In my opinion (I cannot really offer anything else), Zhirinovsky perceives a dichotomy between Western Europe and the East. He hasn't grown out from the Soviet-era global politics. I do not think that Russia can possible have anything to gain from the attack. Western Europe will look further West, not East.

It is unlikely that the EU will in the foreseeable future, actually go to Russia for aid or help.

It is the phenomenon that is political polarization, the isolation of Russia, that has led some to decry the Second Cold War. There's a Wikipedia article on it, even.

It has only been 25 or so years since the fall of the USSR, and to be honest, integration of Modern Russia into the global political plane has been mediocre at best. The reason that Russia itself seldom appears in the news as hosts of terrorist attacks, is because it does not project the image of being Western, for good reason.

Zhirinovsky, as others have pointed out, is a political radical himself. I think that he still sees the West as the enemy, rather than the friend, and consequently sees terrorism unto the West as a boon to Russia in this "Second Cold War."

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