Moscow, Dec 20: Maria Kozhevnikova, a 27-year-old Playboy Playmate has been chosen as one of Vladimir Putin’s MPs in the Russian parliament.
Daughter of a former Soviet ice hockey player, Kozhevnikova posed for the Russian edition of the famous men’s magazine two years ago.
Kozhenvnikova, who does roles in Russan TV serials, has also been romantically linked with Putin - but both sides have denied the claims.
Maria Kozhevnikova posed nude for the Russian edition of the magazine two years ago soon after breaking up from a boyfriend, reports Daily Mail.
She featured on the cover and seven revealing pages were devoted to her inside the magazine.
‘Playboy magazine invites readers to meet Maria and get to know her better,’ boasted the title.
Maria was a lead singer in Russian group called Love Stories before taking on film roles.
She is now best known as a star in Univers, a TV sitcom about student life.
Like former spy and glamour icon Anna Chapman, she was a member of the Young Guard of Putin’s political party United Russia, which is currently facing allegations of vote-rigging after this month winning a narrow overall majority in parliament.
‘For me this is an absolutely big event in my life,’ she said after being confirmed as the new MP for ice-clad Tomsk in Siberia.
‘I’m just an ordinary citizen of the Russian Federation. With the problems I face every day, now I’ll be provided a platform where I can speak up the difficulties and offer solutions.’
She insisted: ‘I think now the time has come when the young people’s voice is listened to. The future of our country belongs to young people, and we must also be involved.
‘I faced the problems of not being able to find a job after college, or buy an apartment by myself.’
Despite portraying herself as just like any other Russian woman, whispers in Moscow say her family is close to a Putin ally.
And she showed her loyalty to strongman premier Putin - who is now standing for a return to the Kremlin presidency - by criticising those behind the recent protests against him.
She warned of ‘professional provocateurs’ whose mission was to ‘ignite’ the people.
‘This can lead to a lot of victims among the ordinary people,’ she said.
She made clear she stands for a ‘strong Russia’ under Putin.
The actress-turned-politician originally intended to go into gymnastics, the main career of another United Russia MP Alina Kabaeva, who also posed semi-nude for a Russian magazine.
Kabaeva, 28, who twice won Olympic gold medals in rhythmic gymnastics, has been romantically linked to Putin, though both sides deny a relationship.