Russian beauty queen criticizes life under Putin

Print version
Nov. 20, 2012, 11:35 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

Natalia Pereverzeva of Russia poses for photographers during a press presentation of the Miss Earth beauty pageant at a hotel in Manila on November 6, 2012. Around 91 contestants from around the globe will be vying for this year's crown, which will be held on November 24, in the country's capital city, with a theme in line with that of United Nations' (UN) celebration of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for all. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE


  MOSCOW, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Russia's candidate for a global beauty pageant veered away from platitudes about world peace to deliver a stinging condemnation of her homeland under President Vladimir Putin, calling it a "beggar country" and a great artery that feeds a corrupt elite.

When Natalia Pereverzeva, who was crowned Miss Moscow in 2010 and posed topless in Playboy last year, was asked what made her proud of her country at the environmentally conscious Miss Earth pageant in thePhilippines, she launched into a tirade against corruption and crony capitalism.

"My (a) poor, long, suffering country, mercilessly torn to pieces by greedy, dishonest, unbelieving people. My Russia - it is a great artery, from which the "chosen" few are draining away its wealth," the 24-year old brunette wrote on the Miss Earth website. (

She also called Russia "an endless Caucasian war," in a reference to two wars the Russian army fought with separatists in the North Caucasus province of Chechnya and an ongoing insurgency that has spread to the broader mostly Muslim region.

Her criticisms against corruption, which have been repeated more often by ordinary Russians since the start of the biggest protests against Putin's rule, caused a backlash among some commentators in the country's largely Kremlin-friendly press.

"I wouldn't advise my participant to represent their country in such a way... I just think a beauty competition is not a place for criticising one's country," modelling consultant Elizaveta Komarova said in tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Pereverzeva also praised her country's famous literary figures, including 20th century poet Sergei Yesenin and 19th century literary great Alexander Pushkin.

She also said she loved her country, calling it "a kind cow with very big eyes, funny horns and always chewing ... Oh, what sweet milk she gives!" (Reporting By Thomas Grove, editing by Paul Casciato)

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.