Russian pop legend Alla Pugacheva criticized the country for having “illusory goals” in Ukraine on Sunday, becoming the latest Russian figure to voice her opposition to the war.
Her comments came in an Instagram post in which she expressed her support for her husband, Maxim Galkin, who was branded a “foreign agent” by Russia’s Justice Ministry on Friday under a draconian law to strip the country of foreign influence and funding.
In her message, Pugacheva said her husband wanted to end the deaths of Russian soldiers “who were dying for illusory goals that make our country a pariah.”
He said Galkin was a “real and good incorruptible patriot of Russia” who wanted “prosperity” and “freedom of speech” and called on the ministry to appoint him as a foreign agent as well.
Commenting on his appointment on Saturday, Galkin said in an Instagram post: “The reason for this decision was that I allegedly received money from Ukraine, the funds for which I carried out political activities. Well, first of all, I am not involved in politics. From the stage of my concerts, I’m working in a comedy genre, political satire, and I’ve been doing it for 28 years.”
“I don’t sell my opinion and my thoughts and I don’t buy anyone else’s,” he added. “I don’t trade my conscience. As for Ukraine, once, well, 10 years ago, when I gave concerts there, I received money, but I haven’t received a penny from Ukraine for many years, so of course the reason is remote and I don’t have it. I don’t know why this is happening now.’
In March, Galkin and Pugacheva, who have two children, left Russia for Israel, according to various Russian and Israeli media. A post on social media by a Russian fashion designer said Pugacheva had returned to Russia in August. But it is not clear where he is now or where their family lives permanently.
Galkin has been a vocal critic of Russia’s war on social media, which Kremlin officials call a “special military operation.”
In early September, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry 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.
Pugacheva – until her Instagram post on Sunday – had been largely silent about the war in Russia.
Peskov said he had not heard any criticism of the Russian campaign from Pugacheva and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the singer “are well-known and have met several times.”