MOSCOW — Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky has sent Pat Buchanan an abusive, obscenity-filled letter after the Republican presidential hopeful refused to be associated with Zhirinovsky's politics.
"You are crap, Pat," Zhirinovsky reportedly wrote. "You filled your pants as soon as you got my congratulations. Who are you afraid of? Zionists?"
Zhirinovsky's letter also contained sarcastic suggestions that he would like to see Jews "dominating government and the parliaments of all countries."
It was sent this week after Zhirinovsky was apparently stung by Buchanan's effort to distance himself from a previous message Zhirinovsky sent congratulating Buchanan on his victory last week in the New Hampshire primary.
In that earlier message, the leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party referred approvingly to a comment Buchanan made repeatedly in the months preceding the 1991 Gulf War that the U.S. Congress is "Israeli-occupied territory."
"We have the same situation in Russia," Zhirinovsky's earlier message said. "The United States and Russia are not free countries, but are under occupation.
"So, to survive, we could set aside places on U.S. and Russian territories to deport this small but troublesome tribe."
After receiving Zhirinovsky's first message, Buchanan reportedly responded that he wanted to have nothing to do with what he called "the politics of hatred."
Buchanan also reportedly replied that he would provide safe haven to persecuted minorities if — "Lord forbid" — Zhirinovsky were ever elected Russia's president.
Zhirinovsky's press secretary, Maj. Gen. Viktor Filatov, confirmed in an interview the contents of last week's congratulatory message to Buchanan.
But he denied that Zhirinovsky was referring to the deportation of Jews.
"These were not Jews whom Zhirinovsky called `this small tribe,'" Filatov said. "He was talking about dissenters who do not like living in Russia. We know that there are a lot of people like these in America."
"We mentioned Israel in this letter because it was mentioned by Buchanan. Had he said that `Congress is occupied by the blacks' we would have put `the blacks,'" Filatov added.
In the past Buchanan has made his views on Israel clear. Several years ago, he wrote: "When it suits them, our Israeli allies launch air strikes on Tunis, Baghdad or Beirut; they invade Lebanon; they even enlist U.S. traitors, like the Pollards, to loot the secrets of a nation that has manifested toward them an extraordinary indulgence."
He has also criticized U.S. foreign aid to Israel as "subsidizing a policy that denies to Palestinians their God-given right to a homeland."
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Russian Jewish community expressed deep concern about Zhirinovsky's earlier message to Buchanan.
Alexander Osovtsov, executive vice president of the recently established Russian Jewish Congress, said in an interview that "the Congress will make an effort to sue Zhirinovsky for the anti-Semitic statement."
Zhirinovsky, whose Liberal Democrats are the third largest bloc in the lower house of the Russian Parliament, is running for the Russian presidency in June's elections.
According to a poll conducted last week by the Russian Public Opinion Institute, Zhirinovsky was the second most popular candidate after Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin placed third in the poll.