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News

Crimean Superstar Prosecutor 'Nyash-Myash' Goes Pop

The Crimean prosecutor who became an Internet sensation in March is expanding her career into showbiz, serving as a judge for Russia's answer to the Eurovision pop contest, media reported.

Natalia Poklonskaya will sit on the alternative jury of the Five Stars song competition, Unn.com.ua news website said late Monday, citing Crimea's Information and Mass Communications Ministry.

 

Her participation is to "guarantee the impartiality" of the winner selection process, the ministry was cited as saying.

The statement did not elaborate on the implied bias in the main jury, which brings together the cream of the crop of the Russian pop scene, including crooner and lawmaker Josef Kobzon, a household name in the country who has been denied entry to the U.S. over his alleged mafia ties.

Five Stars, which runs in the Crimean city of Yalta from Thursday to Sunday, will select Russia's entrant for Intervision — the regional alternative to the Eurovision song contest.

Four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics, China and Russia will vie for Intervision's inaugural prize in Sochi this October.

Poklonskaya, 34, skyrocketed to Internet fame in March following her debut press conference as the prosecutor of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Moscow in March.

Admirers focused on the doe-eyed prosecutor's physical resemblance to Japanese anime heroines, cranking out copious renditions of Poklonskaya as a lovable cartoon character and bestowing her with the nickname "Nyash Myash."

Mildly risque photos published on Poklonskaya's social media accounts also contributed to the popularity of "prosecutor-chan," who was put on a wanted list in Ukraine and blacklisted for EU entry over her support of Crimean separatists.