An outspokenly pro-Stalin, nationalist lawmaker has been confirmed as head of the Russian State Duma's Culture Committee.
Deputy Yelena Yampolskaya of the ruling United Russia party was confirmed in the post on July 25 after it was vacated by the death of noted Soviet filmmaker Stanislav Govorukhin in June.
Yampolskaya has made headlines several times in the past with public statements in support of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, whom she has said "was sent by God to preserve Russia."
A journalist, theater critic, and former editor of the Kultura newspaper, Yampolskaya was elected to the Duma in 2016. She has been outspoken in her support for the controversial 2013 law banning gay "propaganda" that has been condemned by rights groups and foreign governments.
She once said the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a "hostile takeover" of Russia that was "malevolently and skillfully organized and implemented by the West."
She has also said that Moscow has become a "horrible cacophony formed by a Babylon-like mixture of languages, religions, and ethnic traditions and peculiarities" and is no longer "the center of the Russian Orthodox state."
She has also made several statements calling Russian intellectuals "despicable" and saying that "patriots are more valuable for us than liberals."
Based on reporting by TASS, RBK, and newtimes.ru