Journalists accused State Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky of harassment

He denies everything.
About the harassment of the deputy from the LDPR Leonid Slutsky "Rain" anonymously told three journalists. Two of them work in a parliamentary pool, and the third is a television producer who invited a deputy to the air; she contacted Rain after the material was released on the evening of February 21.

According to one of the interlocutors of the channel, in 2017, Slutsky in his office "leaned the inside of his hand to her pubic area and held her hand up." She went to him to ask questions on the international agenda; after that case she "did not communicate with him any more and avoided him." Another said that she did not want to publicize the harassment of Slutsky for fear of losing the opportunity to work in the State Duma. The TV producer said that Slutsky promised to come to the studio in correspondence if she had dinner with him. "When he came on the air, he tried to kiss me on the lips and touch the buttocks," Rain quotes her.

According to Elizaveta Antonova, the journalist of the Rain, Slutsky "constantly pestered young young journalists" and "the entire State Duma knows about it." On the program "Hard Day's Night" on February 21, Antonova asked about the behavior of the Slutsk leader of the LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky, adding that "some girls stopped following comments on this person." Zhirinovsky said that he had not heard anything about this, and promised to "talk" with Slutsky.

Slutsky rejected accusations in his address. In the comments of RBC, the deputy stated that "when it is impossible to find fault with the substance of the work, such provocations appear", and that "for" Rain "this is common practice." Slutsky threatened to file a lawsuit against the channel, but later told Vedomosti that he did not see the point. The MP said that he asked the State Duma's media relations department to talk with the parliamentary journalists about these charges, and "Rain" said that he himself contacted the correspondents; according to him, none of them confirmed the facts of harassment. When the correspondent of "Vedomosti" Olga Churakova asked him why the management did not ask her, he answered: "Well, I have not bothered you for the time being."

In the LDPR they want to deprive "Rain" of accreditation in the State Duma. This was stated by the deputy speaker of the State Duma, the son of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Igor Lebedev. He called the charges unsubstantiated and promised to apply to law enforcement agencies, because they "see a violation of criminal law" (which, he did not specify). Elizaveta Antonova responded to Lebedev that the television station has evidence and is "ready to face trial".

The Vice-Speaker also stressed that the journalists "remained silent the whole year" and started talking only during the election campaign. "It turns out that this throwing is not against Leonid Slutsky, this is a throw-in against our state system, and this is a completely different article of the Criminal Code," he said.

The head of the Duma faction of United Russia, Sergey Neverov, commented on Maxim Glikin, deputy editor-in-chief of Rain, that the television channel needs to "present convincing arguments to the ethics commission of the Duma, or it can simply drag a suit to sue for libel". He spoke of Slutsk as "a fairly correct person."

The statements of journalists about Slutsky's harassment were also called "provocation" by female deputies, members of the women's club of the State Duma. This is stated in their official statement, received on February 24 at the disposal of TASS. "Such unfounded statements should be considered as information aggression from the outset," consider the participants of the women's club headed by representatives of United Russia, Just Russia, the Communist Party and the LDPR.

Some journalists confirmed that they had heard about Slutsky's harassment. In particular, the journalist of "Rain" Lola Tagayeva wrote in her facebook that she knows women who complained about Slutsky is not public. The correspondent of "Vedomosti" Olga Churakova argues in her column that even his colleagues in the faction spoke about "oddities" in Slutsk's behavior in the lobby. "The extravagant behavior of Mr. Slutsky in the course and the apparatus, and the leadership of the State Duma - wrote Churakova. - Some correspondents asked men working in the State Duma to go to Slutsky together for comment. "

Elizabeth Antonova to Sergey Neverov's question about why she did not talk about Slutsky's harassment before, said that they had spoken of the problem, but to no avail: "According to the reaction of the interlocutors in the Duma, it was clear that the conversations would lead to nothing".

Accusations of harassment of high-ranking people are a rarity in Russia. And Slutsky and his colleagues, and journalists compare the situation with the history of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, against whom in 2017, dozens of actresses (some of their colleagues did not support them in Russia). "I am very flattered that for the projection of Harvey Weinstein in Russia they chose my humble person, but they did not choose quite well," Leonid Slutsky told Vedomosti. Vice-speaker Igor Lebedev in his LiveJournal called the publication of "Rain" a "vile" game in Weinstein "and questioned the existence of journalists who reported the harassment of Slutsky. "The possibility of a" sexual scandal "in Russia is generally questionable. Do employees of the "Rain" do not understand this? "- said Lebedev.

The journalist of "Vedomosti" Olga Churakova wrote that after the publications about Vainshtein "in the corridors of the State Duma correspondents did not cease to bitterly sneer:" We could have our own harveyate. " However, she also comes to the conclusion that Slutsky is unlikely to become "our Harvey Weinstein," since it is customary in Russia to keep silent about such cases or accuse the women themselves of "giving an excuse." The observer of the "Rain" Mikhail Fishman also suggested that "#MeToo in Russian", in fact, did not take place - as the victims of harassment are not just ashamed to talk about them, but are afraid of persecution.