April 2nd, 2014 11:17 AM
MOSCOW — Russia tried Tuesday to stop a flood of inquiries about the telegenic young lawyer it has appointed as prosecutor for newly annexed Crimea, whose looks have won her a huge Internet following.
The Russian prosecutor general’s office said it was tired of answering questions about 34-year-old Natalya Poklonskaya, who has become an unlikely Internet star and even the heroine of Japanese manga cartoon strips.
Prosecutors complained of “repeated requests asking to comment on this or that information appearing on Twitter that the acting Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya allegedly writes”.
“Natalya Poklonskaya doesn’t write either on Twitter or blogs and isn’t registered on social networking sites,” they said in a statement.
A Twitter account in Poklonskaya’s name has almost 32,000 followers. It posts numerous drawings of the slender strawberry blonde, as well as a stream of comments such as a request not to call her “the yummy prosecutor”.
She also has a Facebook fan page with 120,000 followers.
The prosecutors’ statement advised those desperate for more information on Poklonskaya that there is only one way to get it: submitting an official request to the Crimean prosecutors’ press office.
The crisis between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea has made Poklonskaya an Internet star, particularly thanks to a video of her giving a news conference that has gained more than 1.7 million hits on YouTube.
Many were intrigued by her youthful looks and voice combined with the stern demeanour and military-style uniform that come with her role.
Poklonskaya proved particularly popular in Japan, where artists created images of her as the doe-eyed heroine of manga comic strips — complete with her uniform tie.
Russia confirmed last week that she will be the chief prosecutor for Crimea after it absorbed the Black Sea peninsula into the Russian Federation, defying international condemnation.
Poklonskaya’s now famous news conference can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqHkGaEE7WA.