Former Crimean prosecutor and manga star appointed Russian ambassador

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Moscow (AFP)

Russia on Wednesday appointed a staunch supporter of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea as ambassador to the Cape Verde Islands, a move according to observers that shows its fall from Kremlin favor.

Natalya Poklonskaya became the main prosecutor of Crimea after breaking with the Kiev authorities following Moscow’s takeover of the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Although Poklonskaya was a member of the ruling party’s lower house between 2016 and 2021, Russian media said the Kremlin did not want her to pursue another term because of her electoral record and “extravagant” statements. .

Poklonskaya was the only United Russia member to oppose a highly unpopular retirement age increase in 2018.

According to a decree from President Vladimir Putin, Poklonskaya, 41, will head the Russian embassy in Cape Verde, a Portuguese-speaking archipelago off the west coast of Africa with a population of around 550,000 people.

In an Instagram post, Poklonskaya said the appointment was a “great honor and responsibility” for her.

During her tenure as a prosecutor, Poklonskaya became Russia’s youngest general woman at 35 and stood out with her youthful appearance and soft voice combined with sometimes uncompromising language.

She has gained enormous success on the Internet, especially in Japan, where she has become a popular figure in the art of anime and manga.

Her first press conference, where she appeared in a prosecutor’s uniform and tie, exceeded one million views on YouTube.

It is subject to European and US sanctions imposed for its involvement in Crimea and the crackdown on the Crimean Tatars, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who mainly opposed annexation.

She is also a fan of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who was executed in 1918, and once worn her portrait in a WWII victory parade.