Modern Mata Hari leaves Kremlin critics exposed
She has piercing blue eyes, a girl-next-door face and likes to do a little amateur modelling, yet according to those who have fallen for her charms, Ekaterina Gerasimova is also the Kremlin's most effective secret agent and a latter-day Mata Hari.
Her mission, it is claimed, is to discredit prominent Kremlin critics by luring them into compromising situations using vintage KGB honeytrap techniques.
Offering her body, sex, and drugs from cocaine to marijuana as an inducement, ''Katya'', as she is usually known, has tried and often succeeded in bedding at least half-a-dozen high-profile Kremlin critics and other political figures. The damage to reputations has varied from serious to negligible depending on her victim's marital status and response.
Her latest scalp was Viktor Shenderovich, a journalist and the scriptwriter on Russia's former version of the Spitting Image television satire.
Mr Shenderovich, who is married and has a daughter, admits that he slept with Ms Gerasimova but claims he was set up by the Kremlin.
His credibility as an authoritative critic of the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, appears to have been at least partly dented and his marriage is reportedly in trouble.
The editor of Russian Newsweek magazine also fell under Ms Gerasimova's spell and was filmed in his underpants chopping up what looked like cocaine after having sex.
A clutch of anti-Kremlin opposition figures and activists, including a man resembling the leader of the National Bolshevik Party, have also been caught in flagrante delicto.
But unlike Soviet times, when the secret service used compromising material to blackmail, Ms Gerasimova's exploits have been widely publicised in grainy videos on the internet.
The footage is often accompanied by mocking music and subtitles. It has taken a few weeks for the victims to realise that they have all been set up by the same woman.
Yet little is known about Ms Gerasimova beyond that she is in her twenties and is registered with an online modelling agency. Nicknamed ''Moo-Moo'' after the surname she uses on a social networking site, men said she used different first names and was highly persistent in her advances.
Some of the men said they knew something was wrong when she suddenly produced drugs or, in one case, asked a young opposition leader to join her and a female friend in experimenting with a large selection of sex toys.
She now seems to have disappeared, but at least one other prominent Kremlin critic has said he expects a similar video featuring himself and the woman to reach the internet soon.