Crimea’s chief prosecutor, who also happens to be an Internet meme and a cult cartoon icon, sees the peninsula clearer of crime than it had been before the referendum on joining Russia. She’s also not unhappy with her online fame, she shared with RT.
“We've achieved many positive results over the last two years since our reunification with Russia, results we didn’t see while it had been a part of Ukraine,” she said.
She says before the referendum of 2014, crime bosses had largely stayed “immune” from prosecution and enjoyed life at large while only ordinary offenders were put in jail.
“Only now we managed to put forward charges against some of them, like [Aleksandr] Danilchenko and [Nikolay] Kozhukhar (leaders of the Bashmaki gang), who are in pretrial detention in Simpheropol. [Andrey] Laptev is already serving his sentence,” Poklonskaya said.
The prosecutor, who rose to the YouTube stardom two years ago after the footage of her first press conference in office went viral says she “didn’t expect to draw so much attention.” Her good looks, tender voice and youthful appearance contrasted with her harsh rhetoric and made the Internet explode with hundreds of anime-inspired images of a fresh-faced “prosecutie”.
“It’s a positive thing and I’m thankful for that,” added Poklonskaya, although, she admits that excessive attention for all the wrong reasons “knocked my self-esteem, but I try not to let it all go to my head.” Poklonskay repeatedly stated that she prefers herself to be perceived as a prosecutor, not a “nyasha” (sweetie), a nickname she received from enamored Russian audience.
Poklonskaya rather sees her beauty as a weapon. With 12 years of experience working in Prosecutor General’s office in Ukraine behind her back, she assured that her looks never prevented her from doing her job. “My looks have never been an obstacle – I hope they deceive my enemies” to RT back in 2014.
Poklonskaya also appears to be a keen pianist. On her visit to the summer residence of Tsar Nicholas II she conquered the yet unbroken hearts by playing several classical music pieces such as Masquerade, a waltz by Soviet-era Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian.
However, despite being dubbed a Japanese ‘icon’ with her appreciators even devising a name for themselves, “Nataliaites”, Poklonskaya`s name is featured on Japan’s list of sanctioned officials. She is also subject to financial and travel sanctions imposed by the EU for her role in events leading to the accession Crimea to Russia.
Poklonskaya took up her post in March 2014 as a prosecutor of Crimea, days before the crucial referendum on March 16, after four male candidates refused to take office amid the turmoil in Ukraine. Two months after she was made permanent by the prosecutor general of Russia. In July 2015, she was promoted from chief justice councilor to state justice councilor third class which is equivalent to a major general.