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Natalia Poklonskaya: `Crimean goddess` or `Putin’s puppet`

Natalia Poklonskaya: `Crimean goddess` or `Putin’s puppet`

Posted March. 31, 2014 02:28,   


Crimea’s photogenic new attorney general has become a global celebrity. A video clip of the first press conference with Natalia Poklonskaya, the region’s new attorney general, has been viewed for more than 1.7 million times. Her beautiful young face like a fairy in a blue uniform, glamorous blond hair, and big eyes became sensational as she is called an “anime (Japanese animation) heroine” or a “battle-ready heroine (BBC).” After Japanese Internet users, calling her “kawaii (cute in Japanese),” posted dozens of anime-style fan art pieces on the web, they spread instantly through Twitter.

Before her appointment as Crimea`s attorney general on March 11, the 33-year-old worked as a senior lawyer at the Ukrainian Prosecutor General`s Office, in the Ukrainian capital Kiev for 12 years. To the opposition party’s protesters who kicked out former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 25, she said that she`s embarrassed to live in a country where gangs walk freely on the street. She resigned and returned to Crimea, her hometown. After being promoted to the top position in the prosecutors’ office in Crimea, she said in her first press conference, targeting to the opposition protesters that the anti-constitutional coup is propagating Nazism. Recently, the young prosecutor general announced that she will investigate the Ukrainian government`s oppression of the “Berkut,” an elite military unit under the former Interior Ministry.

Poklonskaya’s popularity, which started in Japan, is surging in Russia and Europe. A Russian composer uploaded a song “Cute Natasha,” imploring her, “Please accuse me. Please investigate me.” When the Ukrainian government put her on the “wanted list” for treason and plotting the usurpation of power on Thursday, Internet users said in parody, “I put her who is in my heart on my wanted list.” “G4U,” a game company, said it will release a game with her character as a heroine.

Some say that the nomination of a young prosecutor general is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political gimmick. According to them, Russia, which is under fire for the annexation of Crimea, uses the beautiful woman to alleviate criticism.

In fact, the strategy is working. An Internet user said, “I don’t know what Putin is doing in Ukraine, but I support her absolutely.” Others added a thread, “The war has become inevitable to me. Let’s go to Crimea!” A British blogger said, “She is not a porn star but a veteran politician. A beautiful face does not address the horribly tragic situation in Ukraine.” Even Poklonskaya’s fake account was created on Facebook.

The Financial Times said, “It is unfolding in the age of Paris Hilton, instant celebrity. It is moving into a weird direction.”

Poklonskaya seems surprised to the popularity. In an interview with NTV, a Russian channel, she said that she’s never used a social media and she didn’t know what’s happening on the Internet, adding that she’s not a Pokémon and she wants to be recognized for what she does as an attorney general who is in charge of the biggest international conflict.