After Meteor, Russian Politician Blames ... John Kerry

He says it was an American weapons test

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2013 6:38 AM CST

(Newser) – One of the conspiracy theories getting the most attention after yesterday's spectacular meteor show in Russia comes not from a basement blogger but from one of the nation's most well-known, if outlandish, politicians, reports the Voice of Russia. “Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their new weapons," said Vladimir Zhirinovsky, head of the nationalist Liberal Democrat Party. He asserts that new secretary of state John Kerry was sending a message to his Russian counterpart. “You’re like some primitive tribe. What meteorite?” he asked, recounts RT.com. “When something falls, it's man-made. People are warmongers and provocateurs.”

In the real world, meanwhile, workers were replacing windows today in about 4,000 buildings in Russia's frigid Chelyabinsk region. The flying glass after the shock wave injured some 1,200 people, and 15 remained hospitalized, one of them in a coma, reports AP. A regional governor pegged the damage at $33 million. Also, divers were exploring a lake in the town of Chebarkul after a 20-foot-wide hole opened in the ice, presumably from a meteor fragment.

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteorite reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk on Friday.
A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteorite reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk on Friday.   (AP Photo)
In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru, a meteor contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Friday.
In this photo provided by Chelyabinsk.ru, a meteor contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Friday.   (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru)
Municipal workers repair a damaged electric power circuit outside a zinc factory building.
Municipal workers repair a damaged electric power circuit outside a zinc factory building.   (AP Photo/ Oleg Kargapolov, Chelyabinsk.ru)
A meteor contrail is seen.
A meteor contrail is seen.   (AP Photo/ Nadezhda Luchinina, E1.ru)
Alexander Babin rests after getting a medical care in a local hospital.
Alexander Babin rests after getting a medical care in a local hospital.   (AP Photo/Boris Kaulin)
A local resident repairs a broken window.
A local resident repairs a broken window.   (AP Photo/Boris Kaulin)
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