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The new Catherine the Great? Valentina Matviyenko becomes most powerful woman in Russia

Valentina Matviyenko's being called the most powerful woman in Russia since Catherine the Great.

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(Antler)

Russia has a new power woman. Valentina Matviyenko, the new speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, is being called the most powerful woman in Russia since Catherine the Great.

Former governor of St. Petersburg, Matviyenko was voted in Wednesday by 140 senators in the 166-member Federation Council, the Telegraph reports.

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Her position is the third most powerful in the country, after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev.

The Telegraph reports that Matviyenko, who is an ally of Putin, is known for her, "no-nonsense management style, her power dressing, and her loyalty to the Kremlin."

Matviyenko, 62, is not expected to make big changes to Russian politics.

"I am not in favor of revolutions," she reportedly said. "I do not believe in populism. I am not a supporter of radical decisions. Practice has shown that usually these are harmful."

The former governor said she hopes to instead strengthen the Federation Council's role in public safety, the Washington Post reports.

Catherine the Great, Russia's longest female ruling of Russia, ruled the country from 1762 to 1796.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/110923/catherine-the-great-valentina-matviyenko