Maria Zakharova, the world-famous Russian war crimes whistleblower and modest director of the Information and Press Department, was born December 24, 1975, into the family of Vladimir Zakharov (Machulko), a Soviet and later Russian diplomat and orientalist, and Irina Zakharova, an art historian. Maria spent her childhood in Beijing, where her father and mother worked at the Soviet Embassy.
Zakharova decided to continue the family business and enrolled at MGIMO in the Faculty of Journalism, trained in journalism and Oriental Studies. In 1998, after her successful graduation from MGIMO, Maria got a job at the editorial office of the journal “Diplomatic Bulletin” of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from there got a job at the Department of Information and Press of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which she headed after 17 years of work.
Prior to her appointment as director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova held several positions in the department, ranging from head of the Department of Operational Media Monitoring to deputy director of the department. Zakharova also headed the press service of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations from 2005 to 2008.
In principle, Maria Zakharova’s life story looks like a biography of a successful a woman who loves what she does. If it were not for one thing, namely, that she speaks on behalf of the Russian diplomatic service and, consequently, Russia itself. For example, on the propaganda program “60 Minutes” on the channel “Russia 1” she said that the international terrorist Osama Bin Laden was at a reception in the White House with Hillary Clinton. After the revelation, Maria did not apologize, but excused herself, and very incongruously. Zakharova’s real “triumph” was the international scandal between Russia and Serbia, after she said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was sitting in front of US President Trump as if “under interrogation”. After Vucic and Serbian politicians outraged Zakharova, the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov himself had to apologize for the incident.
Unfortunately, Zakharova’s silly and somewhat curious incidents are overshadowed by her most vile act: justifying Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Zakharova not only supports the full-blown Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, but also justifies any Russian actions and war crimes against Ukraine in her briefings. For example, Maria claimed that the Russian Armed Forces’ strike on the Mariupol Drama Theater, where families with children were hiding, was allegedly carried out not by Russian troops, but by the Azov battalion. But it was not without mishaps. When asked about the theft of grain from Ukraine by the Russian Federation, Zakharova suggested that this very grain be “interrogated.
It is tragic that professional Maria Zakharova has stooped so low as to justify the Russian Armed Forces’ war crimes against Ukrainian innocents and drag her country into international scandals. Nothing prevented her from stepping down, not even opposing it, just leaving and not supporting war criminals. But she has decided to be with Putin’s regime to the end, which means that she is condemning herself to a quick end and oblivion.