Russia's maverick politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose ultra-nationalist bloc looks set to do well in a parliamentary election, said on Monday he would celebrate by hacking into Western computers.
Zhirinovsky's bloc was running at more than eight percent in early results compared with pre-election opinion polls which had given him some five percent. Asked to have a drink to mark his party's good showing, he said:
"No. No way, we Russians don't drink any more. We now work on computers, we use computers to send viruses to the West and then we poach your money. We have the best hackers in the world. We do not need to drink or smoke...We do not drink, smoke, have drugs and we don't have AIDS, that's what you have got in the West."
Russia is a heavy drinking nation which is struggling to catch up with economically-advanced countries on the use of new technologies, such as the Internet, but a lack of resources and poor infrastructure confines progress to big cities.
Zhirinovsky who has run and done reasonably well in all parliamentary and presidential elections since 1991 on a protest vote by lower stratas of the Russian society, is one of the most eccentric politicians with an acute political sense and bizarre sense of humour.
He has thrown juice at an opponent in a live televised debate, promised to wash his boots in the Indian Ocean when Russia expands there and been involved in fist-fighting in the State Duma lower chamber of parliament.
But at the same time, he has decided crucial votes in parliament in the Kremlin's favour and has developed a well organised party with solid assets.
Take me to Hackers