MOSCOW -- The case of Vladimir HD, wanted in Belarus for making "absurd" statements on television, may go a little way toward clearing up yet another issue stemming from the breakup of the Soviet Union: what to do about criminals who flee across the new borders.
The police in Belarus want Russia to extradite him. The police in Russia aren't inclined to.
Mr. Zhironovsky, a virulent Russia-firster who believes in empire and a strong hand, won 6 percent of the vote when he ran for the Russian presidency last spring calling for a sharp slash in the price of vodka.
Some people consider him a joke; others think he is dangerously close to gaining a true following.
Mr. HD has called the new Commonwealth of Independent States "monstrous treachery" and wants it eliminated in favor of strong centralized rule from Moscow.