Putin's rival candidates hurl water and insults at presidential debate

The only female candidate running against Russian President Vladimir Putin stirred up controversy at Wednesday’s presidential debate after she threw a glass of water at another candidate who told her to shut up.

Ksenia Sobchak, 36, got into a heated exchange with Vladimir Zhirinovsky after she told him to quiet down before he turned the debate into a circus, to which he snapped back, “Shut up, you silly fool,” Breitbart reported.

In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, Russian celebrity TV host Ksenia Sobchak, who wants to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin in the March 18 presidential election, speaks during an interview to the Associated Press in Moscow, Russia. The daughter of Putin's patron in the 1990s, the late reformist mayor of St. Petersburg, she has assailed the Kremlin's policies but avoided personal criticism of Putin. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russian celebrity TV host Ksenia Sobchak, who wants to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin in the March 18 presidential election, speaks during an interview to the Associated Press in Moscow, Russia.  (AP)

Sobchak criticized the veteran politician for how he spoke to her resulting in him insulting her again, calling her an idiot.

The former TV host and model decided to cool off her opponent by throwing a glass of water at him.

Despite being a televised event, Zhirinovsky hit back with lewd remarks, calling Sobchak a “f---ing whore,” a “crazy b----,” and a prostitute, Breitbart reported, citing Russian media.

Putin was absent from the madness, but it seems unlikely that he would need the publicity.

With the election just weeks away, Putin’s approval ratings top 80 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.