Posted Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at 11:44 AM
Still frame from a dashcam video of a huge meteor over Russia.
Image credit: YouTube/Андрей Борисович Королев
Russian nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky, long known for his flamboyance and outrageous remarks, said Friday that meteorite fragments had not rained down on Russia in the morning, but that the light flashes and tremors in several of the country’s regions resulted from US weapons tests, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.
“Those aren’t meteors falling, it’s the Americans testing new weapons,” Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, told journalists several hours after the Emergencies Ministry began issuing statements on the incident, which has injured hundreds and damaged scores of buildings.
He also said US Secretary of State John Kerry had wanted to warn Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the “provocation” on Monday, but couldn’t reach him – a reference to US State Department comments earlier this week that Kerry had spent several days trying to speak to Lavrov by phone to discuss North Korea and Syria.
For a more, um, reasoned take on what happened over Russia this morning, head on over to Bad Astronomy, where Slate's Phil Plait has you covered.