Surprising turnaround, new job
Putin’s “poster girl” has a muzzle
By David Needy
The day after Putin fired his favorite lawyer, the Russian ruler found a new job for Natalia Poklonskaya. “Postergirl”, who has been criticized for its criticism of the Ukrainian war, is now advising the Attorney General. At the same time, it is likely to be placed under surveillance.
Well-known lawyer Natalia Poklonskaya was appointed adviser to Russian Attorney General Igor Krasnov. Poklonská informed about it on the Telegram and the Russian platform VKontakte, as well as the Russian state news agency Tass. It was not until Monday that the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, rescinded the lawyer as deputy head of the Rossotrudnichestva – an organization affiliated under the Russian Foreign Ministry that, among other things, defends Russia’s interests in other former Soviet states.
“I know that there will be many congratulations – I thank everyone in advance for their support and interest in my service,” wrote Poklonska, who announced on Monday that she “took on a different role”. At the same time, she now emphasized that she would carry out the tasks set by the Russian Attorney General in accordance with the federal law “On the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation” and that she would end her public service in this regard.
“I close my sites on social networks and all public activities. Now I focus on fulfilling my tasks,” the lawyer wrote. “I would like to inform the media that the press office of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation is available for comment.”
Smile with your muzzle
Putin helped Ukraine-born Poklonska to rise rapidly and steeply after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Black Sea Peninsula in 2014. As Crimean Prosecutor General, who served the Kremlin’s loyal services and always strongly supported Russia’s expansion policy, the lawyer suddenly became famous. The Russian ruler also liked to use the exterior of Poklonskaya for advertising purposes. The media called her “Putin’s Poster Girl” and has 215,000 followers on Instagram, where she smiles perfectly at the camera in many private photos. Because the lawyer looks similar to a specific character in the Japanese video game series “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney,” a real manga cult has sprung up around her in Japan.
In the past, Poklonskaya has repeatedly spoken to the media about various political and social issues and also disseminated its views on social networks. Her new job now seems like a kind of punishing muzzle. After the lawyer always politely supported Russian superpower fantasies, she suddenly spoke of a “catastrophe” after Moscow’s attack on Ukraine. Poklonskaya said, “Please stop! It seems to me that we have gone too far and it is time to find the courage for the future ourselves and not leave it in the hands of those who are armed.”
Words Putin didn’t like. Without further ado, he fired her by decree. The fact that the Russian authorities are taking massive and hard action against critical voices is nothing new. But perhaps because the lawyer they adore in the country might still be useful to him, and complete exclusion from the system would also have a negative impact on the Russian ruler, Putin quickly found a new secondary job for her. One under supervision and with a muzzle. The one that Natalia Poklonskaya is supposed to smile at in the photos and thus shed a positive light on Russia, but in her own words she can no longer cause harm.