|Deputy of the State Duma of Russian Federation|
|Assumed office |
5 October 2016
|Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea|
25 March 2014 – 6 October 2016
|Prime Minister||Sergey Aksyonov|
|Preceded by||None (post created)|
|Succeeded by||Oleg Kamshylov|
|Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea|
11 – 17 March 2014
|President||Oleksandr Turchynov (acting)|
|Preceded by||Pavlov Vyacheslav|
Stechbart Alexander (acting)
|Succeeded by||Vasily Sinchuk|
|Senior Prosecutor of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine|
Oleksandr Turchynov (acting)
Natalia Vladimirovna Poklonskaya
18 March 1980
Mikhailovka village, Perevalsk Raion, Voroshilovgrad Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now Ukraine)
|Citizenship|| Soviet Union (1980–1991)|
Russia (2014–present)[nb 1]
|Political party||United Russia|
Ivan Soloviev (m. 2018)
|Alma mater||University of Internal Affairs in Yevpatoria|
|Allegiance|| Ukraine (2002–2014)|
|Branch/service||Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine|
Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation
State Counselor of Justice 3rd Class
|Awards||Medal For fidelity to duty|
Badge Pride of the Fatherland
Order of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna
Order of the Holy Empress Alexandra Feodorovna
Medal for sacrificial service
Medal honor for merits in protection of children of Russia
Natalia Vladimirovna Poklonskaya (Russian: Ната́лья Влади́мировна Покло́нская, IPA: [nɐˈtalʲjə pɐkˈlonskəjə], Ukrainian: Наталія Володимирівна Поклонська; born 18 March 1980) is a Russian politician, serving as Deputy of the State Duma of Russia from 5 October 2016.
She was the Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from 11 to 17 March 2014. From 2 May 2014 to 6 October 2016, she served as Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea and in 2015 as State Counselor of Justice 3rd Class.
Poklonskaya was a Ukrainian prosecutor from 2002 to February 2014, working in various Prosecutor's Offices or as an assistant district attorney. During the 2014 Crimean crisis, she resigned from Ukrainian service and was appointed Prosecutor General of Crimea on 11 March 2014; a press conference given by Poklonskaya on that day resulted in her becoming an Internet phenomenon. After Crimea was annexed by Russia during the 2014 Crimean crisis, Poklonskaya's appointment was confirmed by Russian authorities on 25 March, around the same time Ukrainian judicial authorities declared her a wanted criminal.
Poklonskaya was born 18 March 1980 in the village of Mikhailovka, Voroshilovgrad Oblast, Ukrainian SSR (today Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine); later in 1990, her family moved to Yevpatoria in Crimea. She graduated from the University of Internal Affairs in Yevpatoria in 2002.
Her parents are both retired, living in Crimea, and both her grandfathers died during the Second World War, with only her grandmother surviving the German occupation. On 1 May 2018, Poklonskaya stated in an interview to the news agency Sputnik that her grandmother is of Serbian ethnicity, from Serbian settlers who settled in territory of Imperial Russia between 1753–64, in Slavo-Serbia military frontier of Imperial Russia, located in the territory of present-day Luhansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine.
After her graduation, Poklonskaya worked in the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office, initially serving as an assistant prosecutor to the Acting Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea. She was the assistant attorney of Krasnogvardeisky district in Crimea from 2002 to 2006, and the assistant attorney of Yevpatoria from 2006 to 2010. Between 2010 and 2011, she was the deputy chief of a surveillance law enforcement unit of the Prosecutor's Office of Crimea which was responsible for dealing with organized crime.
In 2011 in Simferopol, she acted as the state prosecutor in the high-profile trial of Ruvim Aronov, a former deputy of the Supreme Council of Crimea and a former manager of the Saki soccer club. Aronov was prosecuted for his leadership role in the Bashmaki gang, an organized crime group that emerged in Crimea, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, and Kiev after the 1990 dissolution of the USSR. The gang had been "known for its cruelty" and had been implicated in racketeering, robberies, eight abductions, and 50 murders. In December of the same year, Poklonskaya was assaulted in the stairwell of her home in Yalta. As a result, she suffered partial facial paralysis. The attack is widely believed to have been a revenge of the Bashmaki gang.
In the same year, she was appointed the inter-district environmental prosecutor of Simferopol. Following that, she was transferred to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office in Kiev, where she served as a senior prosecutor.
From October to December 2012, Poklonskaya worked as head of the prosecutors with the proceedings of the Court of Appeal of Crimea. Later, from December 2012 up until March 2014, she was a senior attorney of the 2nd division of the General Directorate of Internal Affairs involved in pre-trial investigation and public prosecution management supervision with oversight of law enforcement in criminal proceedings.
On 25 February 2014, Poklonskaya handed in her resignation, in which she stated that she was "ashamed to live in the country where neo-fascists freely walk about the streets" (a reference to radical Euromaidan activists). The resignation was not accepted. Instead, she was given a vacation and left Kiev for Crimea where her parents lived. In Simferopol, Poklonskaya offered her help to the Crimean government.
Prosecutor of Crimea
While the Autonomous Republic of Crimea sought independence from Ukraine, on 11 March, Poklonskaya was appointed Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Poklonskaya was appointed to the position by Sergei Aksyonov after the position had been reportedly rejected by four others, including the former Vice-Prosecutor of Crimea, Vyacheslav Pavlov. Her previous criticism of the opposition protests in Ukraine, and the "anti-constitutional coup" led the Ukrainian government to launch a criminal case against her and strip her of the civil service rank of Counsellor of Justice. For her part, Poklonskaya refers to the change of power in Ukraine as an "unconstitutional coup and armed seizure of power", and called Ukraine's new parliamentarians "devils from the ashes."
Immediately following her appointment as Prosecutor, she was involved in an investigation into the violent attacks committed against Crimean Berkut members. On 19 March 2014, Poklonskaya confirmed that investigations were ongoing into a shooting in Simferopol which killed two while denying reports that the shooter had been detained. She compared the shooting to the "sniper attacks on Independence Square in Kiev" from 18 to 21 February, and stated her belief that the shooting was meant to "provoke violence between the military forces" of Ukraine and Crimea.
Crimea, which in the meantime had come under Russian control and become a federal subject of Russia (since then Crimea is under dispute by Russia and Ukraine), saw the creation of its new Prosecutor's Office, now subordinated to Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika. On 25 March, Chaika appointed Poklonskaya as acting Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea for this new office. Around the same time, Poklonskaya was listed as a wanted criminal on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, due to alleged involvement in conspiracy to overthrow constitutional order or seize state power. The Federation Council of Russia declared the charges against Poklonskaya a "bluff". On 27 March, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika granted Poklonskaya the rank of Senior Counsellor of Justice. On 4 April, Poklonskaya gave the approval for the Russian FSB to begin an operation to arrest Yevgeniy Pomelov, the assistant attorney of Yalta, as part of a larger bribery case.
On 11 April, the Prosecutor General of Russia personally presented Poklonskaya with her official papers as a Russian legal officer. On 2 May, Russian president Vladimir Putin appointed Poklonskaya Chief Prosecutor of Crimea. On 4 May, Poklonskaya accused the Crimean Tatars' self-governmental body (the Mejlis) of extremist activity, warning that the Mejlis could be dissolved and outlawed across Russia.
On 12 May, the European Union added Poklonskaya to its sanctions list. This barred her from entering EU countries and any of her assets there, if existent, were to be frozen. Canada imposed similar sanctions on Poklonskaya a month later, followed by Japan on 4 August. Australia followed soon after, sanctioning the Russian prosecutor on 2 September. On 19 December, the United States introduced its individual sanctions against several Ukrainian separatists and Russians, of which Poklonskaya was the only woman.
In June, Poklonskaya was appointed as a judge to "guarantee impartiality in the selection of winners" for Russia's Five Stars singing competition, which would select Russia's entrant for the Intervision Song Contest. In September, Poklonskaya declared that those who did not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as well as those who incited ethnic strife, would be deported. Also in November 2014, Poklonskaya was rated as the sixteenth out of the hundred most promising politicians in Russia by the Institute for Social-Economic and Political Studies.
In March 2015, Poklonskaya was appointed as the head of the Japanese-Russian Friendship Society. On 11 June 2015, Russian president Vladimir Putin granted Poklonskaya the rank of 3rd Class State Counsellor of Justice which corresponds with the military rank of Major General.
Prior to her resignation she was the youngest female general in Russia, at age 36.
In 2015, Poklonskaya announced that she would be running as an MP in the State Duma for the United Russia party. Poklonskaya was elected during the 2016 Russian legislative election. Throughout Russia, she was sometimes considered a potential candidate at the early stages of the presidential elections in 2018.
In office, Poklonskaya became notable for her defense of early 20th century Tsar Nicholas II. Considered a Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church, Nicholas II was accused in the film Matilda of having an affair with Mathilde Kschessinska. Poklonskaya defended the Tsar and called on local prosecutors to determine whether the film was religiously insensitive. Poklonskaya was accused of being the head of an unofficial "Orthodox Taliban" by Deutsche Welle Poklonskaya has argued that Nicholas II's abdication in 1917 was legally null and void.
In 2018, Poklonskaya was the only United Russia MP to vote against a government bill to raise the retirement age.
After a video of Poklonskaya at a press conference on 11 March 2014 was uploaded to YouTube, her attractiveness and youth went viral among Japanese and Chinese internet users and also became the focus of attention of Internet communities such as Reddit, 4chan and Vkontakte, which was reported by international news outlets. Within a month, the press conference was viewed over 1.7 million times. Many fan-created anime-style moe images of her uploaded to the Internet also attracted international media attention. A music video by Enjoykin based on Poklonskaya's press conferences and interviews has had 20 million views on YouTube.
In 2014, Poklonskaya was among the most searched-for celebrities on the Internet in both Russia and Ukraine. According to Google, she was the year's 7th most searched-for person in Russia and the 8th in Ukraine, and according to Yandex – the 2nd most searched-for female in Ukraine and the 4th in Russia. She was described as a sex symbol by the New York Observer and Die Welt.
Due to the international media coverage she received in 2014, Poklonskaya has been intentionally reticent about her personal life. Although Russian media reported her as being married, when Poklonskaya failed to disclose her husband's name in her financial declarations, she was forced to admit that she had broken up with her fiancé, and had only stated she was married to prevent unwanted attention from male fans who may have wanted to date her. Poklonskaya has a daughter named Anastasiya.
On 13 August 2018, a number of media reported that Poklonskaya married 47-year-old Ivan Nikolaevich Soloviev, a veteran of law enforcement agencies, honoured lawyer of Russia, and head of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia. The wedding took place in Crimea.
Poklonskaya stated in March 2014 that she intends to apply for Russian citizenship. She plays the piano. On her visit to the summer residence of Tsar Nicholas II, she played such classical music pieces as Masquerade, a waltz by Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian. She views her beauty as an asset: "My looks have never been an obstacle – I hope they deceive my enemies."
Poklonskaya is deeply religious, and is a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In February 2017, she led a campaign to block the release of the film Matilda for its allegedly blasphemous portrayal of the affair between Tsar Nicholas II (who has been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church) and the ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. In March, she claimed that a bronze bust of the Tsar in Simferopol was seeping fragrant myrrh. Her claims were denied by the Russian Orthodox Church and prompted ridicule from Russian netizens. In April, she released a 39-page report denouncing the film and alleging, among other claims, that the well-documented affair could not have happened as Kshesinskaya was, in the opinion of the report's authors, too ugly to have attracted the attention of the Tsar. On 30 November 2017, Poklonskaya returned the nobility title and orders obtained from the claimant to the headship of the Imperial Family of Russia, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, because the Grand Duchess refused to support her efforts on outlawing the film.
- From the point of view of Ukraine, Poklonskaya retained her Ukrainian citizenship because she did not follow the official procedures for loss of citizenship. From the point of view of Russia, she is not a Ukrainian citizen, since all Crimean residents who did not not express in writing that they do not want to transfer to the Russian citizenship, automatically terminated their Ukrainian citizenship and obtained Russian citizenship.
- Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea
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During her first press conference on the new position
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Natalia Poklonskaya|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Natalia Poklonskaya.|
- Natalia Poklonskaya's press conference on 11 March 2014 – by Argumenty Nedeli Crimea on YouTube