Russian pop legend Alla Pugacheva has criticized the country for having “illusory goals” in Ukraine on Sunday, becoming the latest high-profile Russian figure to oppose the war.
Her comments came in an Instagram post in which she expressed support for her husband, Maxim Galkin, a comedian who was designated a “foreign agent” by the Russian Justice Ministry on Friday under a draconian law aimed at ridding the land of foreign influence and funding.
In her message, Pugacheva said her husband wanted an end to the death of Russian soldiers, who were “dying for illusory goals that make our country a pariah”.
She said Galkin was a “real and incorruptible good patriot of Russia” who wanted “prosperity” and “free speech”, as she called on the ministry to label her a foreign agent as well.
Commenting on his designation on Saturday, Galkin said in an Instagram post: “The justification for this decision was that I would have received funds from Ukraine, funds for which I carried out political activities. Well, first of all, I’m not involved in politics. From the stage to my concerts, I indulge in a humorous genre, political satire, and I have been doing it for 28 years.
“I don’t sell my opinion and thoughts or buy someone else’s,” he added. “I do not trade my conscience. As for Ukraine, once, well, 10 years ago, when I gave concerts there, I received money, but for many years , I did not receive a penny from Ukraine, so, of course, the reason is far-fetched and I don’t know why this is happening now.”
In March, Galkin and Pugacheva, who have two children, left Russia for Israel, according to several Russian and Israeli media. A social media post by a Russian fashion designer said Pugacheva returned to Russia in August. But it is not known where she is now or where her family permanently resides.
Galkin has been a vocal critic on social media of Russia’s war, which Kremlin officials call a “special military operation.”
In a call with reporters on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Pugacheva’s message.
But in early September, Peskov said Galkin had made “very bad statements” about Russia and was “clearly not on the same path as us”, according to Russian state media.
At the time, Peskov said he hadn’t heard criticism of Pugacheva’s Russian campaign and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the singer are “familiar and have met more than once.”
Pugacheva – until posting to Instagram on Sunday – had remained largely silent on the war in Russia.