While many young girls dream of stardom on the catwalk or the silver screen, one Russian student has set her sights on conquering the political stage.

Maria Sergeyeva

Her Soviet-style speech at the pro-Kremlin rally near Red Square caused a sensation and made a 24 year old Russian girl famous all over the country. She has the looks, ambition, and patriotism to become a member of the Russian Parliament and has the backing of Russia’s major political party. Her critics, who have dubbed her 'Putin's pin-up' or 'Russian Sarah Palin', say that she is being used by the former KGB leader to target the young and to whip up jingoism and loathing of the West as Russia stares into the abyss of an economic crisis. She can sway crowds with her passion, her looks and her punchy style, but she also reaches out via her blogs and webcasts to places that normal politics fails to go.