Saturday, February 16, 2013

'That's no meteor, it's an American weapon test': Russian politician's bizarre claim

Rant: Vladimir Zhirinovsky said what really happened was an act of provocation by the U.S.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
A Russian politician has claimed the meteor which struck the country yesterday was actually a clandestine American weapons test while claims have emerged that a sonic boom was also felt in Cuba.

Authorities say a 10 ton space rock, traveling at a speed of 33,000mph, hit the Earth's atmosphere with a force equivalent to 30 of the atomic bombs which destroyed the city of Hiroshima.

The astonishing event on Friday morning blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings and injured some 1,200 people, largely with cuts from the flying glass.  

But in a twist that reads like a piece of Soviet-era propaganda, firebrand politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky said what really happened was an act of provocation by the U.S.
Zhirinovsky, leader of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), said: 

'Those aren't meteorites falling. It's the Americans trying out a new weapon'.

He backed up his astonishing claim arguing that newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had been trying to reach Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov all day, 'to warn him that there would be such a provocation, and it might affect Russia'.

Meanwhile, reports emerged from Cuba suggesting the island was also hit by a meteorite earlier in the week.

Locals said on Tuesday there was bright light in the sky followed by a 'large explosion' that shook doors and windows.

In a video from a state TV newscast posted on the website CubaSi, unidentified residents of the central city of Rodas, near Cienfuegos, described the skyline phenomenon.

The meteorite streaks across the sky above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, although a Russian politician now claims it was a U.S. weapon test'On Tuesday we left home to fish around five in the afternoon, and around 8pm we saw a light in the heavens and then a big ball of fire, bigger than the sun,' one man said.

'My home shook completely,' said a woman. 'I had never heard such a strange thing.'

Marcos Rodriguez, a specialist in anthropology, said all signs point to a meteorite.
A similar phenomenon was observed in 1994 elsewhere in Cienfuegos province.

Cuban authorities are now looking for any fragments that may have fallen to the earth.

It is far from the first time that Russian politician Zhirinovsky has courted controversy. 

In 2006 he suggested arming all of Russia's population and ordering them to shoot migratory birds in a bid to combat bird flu. 

He has also suggested removing restrictions on arms sales to Iran and the sale of the disputed Kurile Islands to Japan for $50billion.

Today a small army of workers set to work to replace the estimated 200,000 square meters of windows shattered by the shock wave from a meteor that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk region. 

Fifteen of the injured remained hospitalized on Saturday, one of them in a coma, the regional health ministry said, according to the Interfax news agency. 

Regional governor Mikhail Yurevich on Saturday said damage from the high-altitude explosion - - is estimated at 1 billion rubles ($33 million). He promised to have all the broken windows replaced within a week. 

But that is a long wait in a frigid region. The midday temperature in Chelyabinsk was minus-12 C (10 F), and for many the immediate task was to put up plastic sheeting and boards on shattered residential windows. 

Source: Daily Mail UK 

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