Vladimir Putin elects ex-Playboy playmate as his MP

Updated: Dec 16, 2011, 13:37 PM IST

London: Vladimir Putin has appointed a former Playboy playmate as one of his MPs in the Russian Parliament.

The model is 27-year-old Maria Kozhevnikova who posed nude for the Russian edition of the magazine two years ago soon after breaking up from a boyfriend.

Kozhevnikova featured on the cover and seven revealing pages were devoted to her inside the magazine.

The daughter of a Soviet ice hockey player, Alexander Kozhevnikov, who was twice an Olympic champion, Kozhevnikova 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.

Kozhevnikov spoke about her new job title after being confirmed as the new MP for ice-clad Tomsk in Siberia.

“For me this is an absolutely big event in my life,” the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

“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.

“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,” she added.

Despite portraying herself as just like any other Russian woman, whispers in Moscow say her family is close to a Putin ally.

ANI