Russian pop star denounces Ukraine war and asks to be named a foreign agent

World

A Russian singer has denounced Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and asked to be placed on her country’s foreign agents list in solidarity with her husband.

Alla Pugacheva’s husband, singer and TV presenter Maxim Galkin, was added to the foreign agents register on Friday by Russia’s justice ministry.

His criticism of Russia for sending troops into Ukraine has put him on the wrong side of authorities in a country where dissent is increasingly risky.

He is accused of conducting political activities on behalf of Ukraine and of receiving Ukrainian funding.

Ms Pugacheva said on Instagram: “I ask you to include me among the ranks of foreign agents of my beloved country because I am in solidarity with my husband.”

She described Mr Galkin as a “true and incorruptible patriot” who wants “prosperity for his motherland, peace, free speech”.

She also said that the Kremlin’s “illusory goals” in Ukraine “make our country a pariah and the lives of our citizens extremely difficult”.

More on Russia

Being labelled a foreign agent has negative Soviet-era connotations and is something a person must declare prominently on all content they publish.

They also face arduous financial and bureaucratic requirements.

Read more:
Ukraine war latest: Russians told that signing up to fight is the “choice of a real man”
Prof Michael Clarke: Russia makes new stand after being thrown back by rapid Ukrainian offensive in Kharkiv

Ms Pugacheva, 73, is one of Russia’s most famous and popular singers, having launched her career during the Soviet era.

She has been decorated numerous times since then.

Mr Galkin, 46, is her fifth husband and they married in 2011.

Mr Galkin was axed from his prime-time show in April after condemning a missile strike which killed a three-year-old in Ukraine.

He has also lost several advertising contracts due to his anti-war views.

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