Maria Zakharova, the 41-year-old spokesperson of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, needs little introduction in media circles. She makes headlines almost as often as her actual boss, the seasoned minister Sergei Lavrov. A maestro in the guerilla use of social media, Zakharova’s brash and belligerent Facebook statements are often picked up as separate news stories by state-run news agencies, such as TASS and RIA Novosti. With subscribers to her Facebook page topping 300,000 people, she is undoubtedly one of the celebrities of Russian politics.
She is known to pick a fight with journalists, and took things to a new level in February with a campaign to out “fake” foreign news on Russia.