A Russian politician branded a woman a "whore" after he was splashed with water during a TV debate ahead of the country's upcoming presidential election.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, representing the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LPDR), was splashed by presidential hopeful Ksenia Sobchak after he repeatedly interrupted another candidate.

Sobchak asked Zhirinovsky if he "really believed that a man can speak to a woman like that?" and threw a cup of water at him. The stunt prompted a foul-mouthed outburst by Zhirinovsky, who called his rival a "whore."

The debate, which was broadcast on Russian state TV on February 28 but was recorded a day earlier, was devoted to foreign policy issues such as Crimea and military intervention in Syria.

Ksenia Sobchak is a 36-year-old journalist and TV host but has not affiliated her candidacy with any political party.

The socialite is the daughter of Putin political advisor Anatoly Sobchak and has been dismissed as a "spoiler candidate" and Kremlin stooge by opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

Zhirinovsky is currently polling at around 6% and has promised a "brutal dictatorship" if elected in order to bring back the estimated $1 trillion held offshore by the country's oligarchs.

"It's impossible to do in a democracy, I will introduce the most brutal dictatorship," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was a notable absentee from the debate but is still widely-expected to win the upcoming March 18 election.

Zhirinovsky called his femal candidate a whore after being splashed with water. Russia 1