Who are the most popular Slavic women in politics today?

Powerful and influential, only few women in the world have managed to reach the highest political positions usually reserved for men

Female politican collage / Photo: Wikimedia commons

Powerful and influential, only few women in the world have managed to reach the highest political positions usually reserved for men. However they do exist, and in many Slavic countries are known as highly polarizing and widely popular cultural figures.

Natalia Poklonskaya

Photo: Пресс-служба Президента России / Wikimedia commons

Gaining Internet popularity after the release of press conference video in 2014, Poklonskaya became a subject of adoration of millions. The video quickly became one of the most watched on Youtube, and inspired countless anime style illustrations of Poklonskaya. She eventually ended up on a “most Googled” list for the year, and became globally known as a sex symbol. However, Poklonskaya has far more than just beauty going on for her, which is clear considering her successful political career at such a young age. Raised in Crimea, Poklonskaya graduated from its University of International Affairs in Yevpatoria, and assisted in Ukranian’s Prosecutor Office after graduation. Natalia transferred in 2012 to work as a head of prosecutors in the Court of Appeal in Crimea. Eventually, she was appointed Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and was also awarded the rank of General by Vladimir Putin in 2015. After she was elected as an MP for State Duma, Poklonskaya left her Prosecutor position, and she is even frequently mentioned as a future candidate for presidency.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

Photo: Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации
/ Wikimedia commons

First ever woman and youngest president of Croatia to date, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović was no newbie to the world of politics once she made it to presidency. Previously serving as Minister of European Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations, Ambassador to US and Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO, it is safe to say Kitarović had a fair amount of political experience to put into use once selected. Listed by Forbes as the 39th most powerful woman in the world for the year 2018, Kolinda came from humble origins in the village of Lopača, near Rijeka. Successful from the get go, she was an exchange student in US and Austria, Fulbright Scholar and notable member of party. Ever since 1992., Kitarović performed various political and diplomatic duties in various Ministries, and was appointed as the Croatian ambassador to United States in 2008. After resigning her position as an Ambassador, Kitarović became the first ever woman to serve as Assistant Secretary General to NATO. However, Kolinda gained worldwide fame only after becoming a president of Croatia in 2015. Conservative in her policies, Kitarović received both much praise and criticism in Balkans for her right-wing orientation. Mother of two children, Kolinda has been married to an engineer Jakov Kitarović since 1996.

Yulia Tymoshenko

Photo: European People’s Party / Flickr / Wikimedia

Globally recognized as the first female Prime Minister of Ukraine and one of the most successful businesswomen in gas industry, Tymoshenko was proclaimed to be the third most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2005. Accused of embezzlement and abuse of power in 2010, controversial Tymoshenko was sentenced to 7 years of prison in a highly publicized case. Polarizing political figure, she is strongly pro-NATO and has repeatedly praised European Union and its tendencies to make Ukraine into a member state. Hailing from Dnipropetrovsk, Yulia graduated from Economics Department of Dnipropetrovsk State University, with her major being in cybernetic engineering. Working as an economist in the gas industry for years to come, Tymoshenko became one of the wealthiest businesswomen in former Soviet Union. Yet, her global popularity only came after she entered the realm of politics in 1996. Serving as the Deputy Prime Minister for fuel and energy sector and Prime Minister of Ukraine during the first decade of 2000’s, Tymoshenko lost the Presidential elections of 2010 to Viktor Yanukovych by 3%.During the same year, a criminal case against Tymoshenko was opened due to alleged abuse of power by Yulia and her Ministers in regards to gas deals signed with Russia. Convicted to 7 years in prison in late 2011, Tymoshenko was re-arrested because of alleged tax evasion and even a suspect in the case of murder of businessman Yevhen Scherban and his family. Following the political turmoil in Ukraine that happened in 2014, Tymoshenko was rehabilitated by the Supreme court of Ukraine, released from prison and freed from all charges.

Nela Kuburović

Photo: Nela Kubrović /

Current Minister of Justice in Government of Serbia, Kuburović previously served as an assistant judge and Deputy Minister of Justice. One of the youngest in the position, Kuburović was made Minister of Justice in 2016, aged 34. Lawyer by profession, Nela graduated from the University of Belgrade and passed the bar in 2008. Holding various positions in First Belgrade Court since, Kuburović slowly transitioned from law to politics. Finally, she was made Deputy Minister of Justice to Nikola Selaković in 2014, whose position she succeeded only two years later. She is currently holding her position as a part of governmental cabinet formed by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić. Noted for her youth and attractive looks, Kuburović is a polarizing figure among Serbian public. Fluent in English and Spanish in addition to her native Serbian, little but the fact that Nela is not married is known regarding her private life.

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