Natalia Pereverzeva slams 'corrupt' Russia
Russia's candidate for a global beauty pageant has veered away from platitudes about world peace to deliver a stinging condemnation of her homeland under President Vladimir Putin, calling it a "beggar country" and a "great artery" that feeds a corrupt elite.
When Natalia Pereverzeva, 24, who was crowned Miss Moscow in 2010 and posed topless in Playboy last year, was asked what made her proud of her country at the environmentally conscious Miss Earth pageant in the Philippines, she launched into a tirade against corruption and crony capitalism.
"My Russia...is a poor, long-suffering country, mercilessly torn to pieces by greedy, dishonest, unbelieving people. My Russia, it is a great artery, from which the chosen few are draining away its wealth," the brunette writes on the Miss Earth website.
Such criticism has been voiced more often by ordinary Russians since the start of mass protests against Putin's rule. However, Pereverzeva was heavily criticised by some commentators in the country's largely Kremlin-friendly press.
She went on to praise her country's famous literary figures, including 20th-century poet Sergei Yesenin and 19th-century literary great Alexander Pushkin.
Pereverzeva also said she loved her country, calling it "a kind cow with very big eyes, funny horns and always chewing ... Oh, what sweet milk she gives!"