In one of the more bizarre pageants held this year, members of Russia's emergency services gathered in Moscow over the weekend to crown their very own "Miss Emergency Situations Ministry 2014."
"To earn the title … the girls had to have a high level of professionalism, good athletic training, individuality, creativity and good looks," the ministry said in an online statement, adding "the main purpose of the beauty contest was to reveal and develop talent among the women," at the ministry.
Second-year student Maria Markina, a Khimki native studying at the ESM's Civil Defense Academy, beat off competition from 18 other girls to pick up the top gong.
Valeria Semchenkova, a second-year student at St. Petersburg's ESM university, and Christina Gordeyeva, a psychologist in the far eastern Amur region, came in second and third place, respectively.
"The girls were all cool! There was no scheming or intrigue. We are all from the ESM, where mutual assistance is valued above all," Markina, who eventually plans to work for the ministry's PR department, told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.