Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was included in BBC’s annual list of the world’s most inspirational and influential women. The list was published on the broadcasting company’s website on Monday, Nov. 21.
Every year, the BBC releases a list of the world’s most influential and inspirational women who have made impactful contributions in areas such as art, science, business, healthcare, sports, human rights, journalism and politics. Zakharova is listed in the “Politics” section.
Zakharova made the list thanks in part to her becoming the first woman ever to hold the position as official spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and “has made an impression with her combative and colorful style.”
Maria Zakharova’s profile includes one of her more well-known quotes, which is the response she gave to Sputnik news agency back in 2016, when they asked her what it meant to be Russian: “Saddle up slowly and ride fast – that's exactly the Russian way of doing things! Don't give into pressure, but melt with love.”
Other women that are listed in the “Politics” section of the list include a student activist from Congo, a pop singer and democratic activist from Hong Kong, a Pakistani activist advocating for the independence of the Pakistani province of Balochistan, and the former Minister of Justice of France, who defends the rights of Muslim women.
The only other Russian woman to make this year’s BBC list was the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informant Yulia Stepanova.
Stepanova and her husband were the protagonists of a documentary film produced by the German TV channel ARD on doping in Russian sport. The couple cooperated with WADA, which launched an investigation following the release of the documentary.