Putin throws the prominent Russian lawyer Natalja Poklonskaja from her top job. Actually known for being close to the Kremlin, Poklonskaya clearly criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She is considered “Putin’s poster girl” and is revered even in Japan.

After she criticized Russia’s war against Ukraine, Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin fired a prominent lawyer from the civil service. By decree on Monday, Putin revoked Natalya Poklonskaya from her post as deputy head of Rossotrudnichestvo – an organization affiliated with the Russian Foreign Ministry that, among other things, campaigns for Russia’s interests in other ex-Soviet states. Poklonskaya posts the letter on her Instagram account.

She writes: “Vladimir Putin signed a decree on my dismissal from office. […] I would like to thank our President for his support and trust.” She had been “transferred” to another position.

Poklonskaja’s downfall was that she spoke of a “disaster” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Addressing the Russians – but also to the Ukrainians – she also said: “Please stop! It seems to me that we have gone too far and it is time to find courage for the future on our own and not into the laying hands of those who are armed.”

She later described the letter Z, used as a propaganda symbol for Russia’s war against Ukraine, as emblematic of “tragedy and sadness for both Russia and Ukraine.” After these statements, the state organization Rossotrudnichestvo, for which Poklonskaya worked for only a few months, announced “consequences”.

Poklonskaya, who is now 42, is no stranger to Russia: She suddenly became famous after the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014 – as a prosecutor general who rendered loyal services to the Kremlin. The media referred to her as “Putin’s poster girl”. She has more than 215,000 followers on Instagram. Poklonskaya was also revered in Japan. The reason: She is said to look similar to an anime character from the Japanese video game series “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney”.

In Ukraine, the 42-year-old was insulted as a traitor. Later she was a member of the Russian parliament and ambassador in Cape Verde, Africa. She has also been on the EU sanctions lists against influential Russians since the war.

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