Iconic Russian singer asks to be named ‘foreign agent’

Iconic Russian singer Alla Pugacheva, hugely popular since Soviet times, says she wants to be added to Russia’s list of foreign agents in solidarity with her named husband.

Pugacheva’s statement on Instagram on Sunday is a notable slap in the face of a prominent figure from Russian authorities, which have stifled dissent in recent years.

Pugacheva’s husband, singer and TV presenter Maxim Galkin, who has criticized the sending of Russian troops to Ukraine, was added to the register of foreign agents by the Justice Ministry on Saturday for allegedly carrying out political activities on behalf of from Ukraine and received Ukrainian funds.

She called Galkin a “true and incorruptible patriot” who wants “an end to the death of our guys for illusory ends”.

Russian law allows organizations and individuals known to be involved in political activities that receive funds from abroad to be declared foreign agents. The term has a strong pejorative meaning and implies additional government control.

Pugacheva, 73, is known for her soulful singing and colorful performances. She rose to fame in the 1970s and remains hugely popular throughout the former Soviet Union.

In early March, the two left Russia for Israel, along with their nine-year-old twins.

Galkin, 46, whose mother is Jewish, spoke out against the war in an Instagram post on Feb. 24, saying, “I can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. How is all this possible? Nothing justifies war! No to war!”