After a series of vitriolic social media postings exposed the Russian Football Premier League's newly crowned “Miss Charming” as a racist and dedicated neo-Nazi, organizers of the Miss Premier League competition stripped her of her title, Russian media reported Tuesday.
Every year, each of Russia's 16 football clubs picks one girl from a pool of attractive female fans to represent them in the Miss Premier League pageant. Their selections then compete against one another for the over-all title.
This year, CSKA Moscow picked 21-year-old Olga Kuzkova to be their team's queen. Though she fell short of the grand prize, Kuzkova was declared the most charming of her peers.
But that title was snapped away Tuesday as the young football enthusiast's controversial world view fell into the spotlight.
In some ways, Kuzkova's page on popular Russian social network VKontakte is what one would expect of a pageant girl: selfies and bikini shots galore, interspersed with the occasional call to help a dog or cat in need.
What sets her apart from the flock is her devout advocacy for the cause of white supremacy.
In one picture, Kuzkova gazes into the camera, her right hand extended in a Nazi salute as she stands in front of a wall bearing Nazi graffiti.
Another features two photos spliced together. The first shows a Cadbury Bubbly bar — a popular candy bar made up of a series of oddly-sized chocolate spheres. The second shows a group of small African children, clad in dirty clothing, posing for a group shot in what appeared to be a remote village. Insinuating that the children and the chocolate bar looked alike, she wrote, “I love chocolate, but after this image I developed an… aversion.”
Another photo features a dog chewing on a statuette of what appears to be an African-American baseball player.
One meme posted by Kuzkova features a woman dressed in a French maid costume accessorized with Nazi symbols, smiling giddily in front of two large, fiery ovens. The photo was captioned with bold text calling for the burning of Jews and “khachi” — a derogatory term for natives of the Caucasus.
The beauty pageant contestant appears to have found a like-minded boyfriend. In one photo, the two of them are seen sharing a warm embrace while wearing matching T-shirts bearing skulls and celtic crosses, two symbols embraced by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
In another, the two are pictured kissing beneath the phrase: “White Love.”
She also posted a meme advocating sincerely for racial purity. “The Nordic spirit cannot live in the body of an Untermensch,” read the post.
But once CSKA fan base caught wind of the photos, outrage promptly ensued.
“Olga, how could you represent a football club whose president is a Jew after saying you want to burn [Jews] in an oven?” read a statement posted to the Facebook page of CSKA Fans Against Racism on Sunday. They went on to call for the organizers of the beauty pageant to deprive Kuzkova of her title.
They got their wish. “We do not tolerate manifestations of fascism, nationalism and racism,” said Sergei Cheban, executive director of the league, in comments carried Tuesday by Sport Express newspaper. "I will be glad if this situation will help Olga [Kuzkova] sort out her worldview."
Racism has plagued Russian football for decades. In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Brazilian star forward Hulk, who plays for Zenit football club in St. Petersburg, said that he encounters racism “in almost every game.”
"If [racism] happens in the World Cup, it will be really gross and really ugly. Usually it happens when Russian clubs play and it doesn't come out to the world and the world doesn't know about this," he told AP through a translator.
Russia is set to host the World Cup in 2018 in 11 different Russian cities.