Russian pop star of the twentieth century, Alla Pugachevaannounced her opposition to the invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, emerging as the most important celebrity to oppose the war as President Vladimir Putin faces mounting challenges on and off the battlefield.
Ms. Pugacheva, 73, wrote in a Mail On Instagram, where she has 3.4 million followers, she says that Russians are dying in Ukraine for “fake goals”. She wrote that the war was “turning our country into a pariah state and worsening the lives of our citizens.”
The pop star left Russia for Israel after the war broke out in February and recently returned to Moscow, according to Russia. newscast. Her husband, show host and comedian Maxim Galkin, was vocal in his opposition to the war. But Ms. Pugacheva, while expressing support for her husband, did not comment directly on the war before her post on Sunday.
There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin. A spokesman for Mr. Putin spoke favorably of Ms. Pugacheva this month, noting that she and the Russian president “know each other and have met more than once”.
Dozens of major Russian cultural figures have already criticized the war, but Ms. Pugacheva is uniquely popular among a broad cross-section of Russians, with fame dating back to the Soviet era. Ms. Pugacheva has been a superstar since the 1970s, and New York times In 2000 she described her as “the goddess of Russian pop, Tina Turner from Moscow with a hint of Edith Piaf, whose songs gave voice to the aspirations of millions.” She is said to have sold over 250 million records, making her among the world’s best-selling music artists.
In the Putin years, it remained a staple of state television. State-run channel 1 progress Complete coverage of her 70th birthday in 2019, calling her a “prima donna on the national stage”. Mr. Putin granted She was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland in 2014.
It was the Kremlin’s crackdown on Mr. Galkin, her fifth husband, aged 46, that apparently precipitated Ms Pugacheva’s decision to publicly oppose the war. Russia’s Justice Ministry declared Mr Galkin a “foreign agent” on Friday, a legal designation increasingly used by the Kremlin against its opponents.
Ms Pugacheva addressed the Justice Department directly in her post on Sunday, declaring that she now wants to become a “foreign agent” herself.
“I ask to be added to the ranks of foreign agents of my beloved country,” she wrote. “I stand in solidarity with my husband, an honest, respectful, true, true and incorrupt patriot of Russia, who wishes the prosperity of his Motherland, a peaceful life, freedom of speech and the end of the death of our men for illusory goals that will turn our country into a pariah state and lead to the deterioration of the lives of our citizens.”
Referring to Ms. Pugacheva’s political importance, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, this month the pop star said she is still on the side of the Kremlin. While Mr. Galkin made “very bad remarks”, Ms. Pugacheva made no comments that the Kremlin considers unacceptable, Mr. Peskov He said.
On Sunday, senior lawmaker Pyotr Tolstoy said, Wrote On the social messaging platform Telegram, he lamented that Ms Pugacheva had “lost contact with reality”.
“You will no longer find support among respectable Russians,” Tolstoy wrote. “We’d win without her songs.”
Putin is facing growing criticism within Russia from across the political spectrum after Ukraine defeated Russian forces in northeastern Ukraine earlier this month, leading to an embarrassing retreat. Hardline supporters of the war questioned the Kremlin’s handling of the conflict on national television, insisting that Russia should fight more aggressively; Anti-war critics encouraged of Mr. Putin’s setbacks in publicly calling for his resignation.
At a regional summit held in Uzbekistan on Thursday and Friday, Mr. Putin acknowledged this Meetings with the leaders of China and India That both countries have “concerns” about the war. Implicit criticism of Mr. Putin from the world’s two most populous countries has ensured that he is now facing perhaps the most difficult moment in recent months.