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St. Petersburg Beauty Queen 'Shocked' By Racist Slurs

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

Viktoria Maladayeva (left), a 25-year-old married mother of one, drew hostile comments from online voters after referring to Putin as "the worst thing to happen with Russia since the 1950s."

Viktoria Maladayeva (left), a 25-year-old married mother of one, drew hostile comments from online voters after referring to Putin as "the worst thing to happen with Russia since the 1950s."

An ethnic Buryat woman crowned "Mrs. St. Petersburg" last week says she is surprised by racial taunts she endured after making critical comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Viktoria Maladayeva, a 25-year-old married mother of one, drew hostile comments from online voters after referring to Putin as "the worst thing to happen with Russia since the 1950s."

Critics called Maladayeva a "Russophobe" and an "enemy of the people." One commenter said Maladayeva's hair should be shaved off and "her head put in the toilet."

Maladayeva, a native of Russia's Buryatia region who has lived in St. Petersburg for the past nine years, said she had expected a "negative reaction" to her Asian features but said she was "shocked" by the degree of vitriol.

"I'm horrified by the fact that there's such a poisonous attitude toward people just because they have different political views," she said, adding that Western sanctions and rising prices were among her main concerns.

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