Russian pop superstar Alla Pugacheva on Sunday condemned the conflict in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory purposes” amid severe crackdown on all anti-Kremlin criticism.
This is the first time the legendary crooner has spoken out publicly about the offensive in Ukraine.
Her husband Maxim Galkin had just been recognized as a foreign agent – a label reminiscent of “enemy of the people” that has been used extensively against opponents, journalists and human rights activists.
“I ask you to include me on the list of foreign agents of my beloved country,” 73-year-old Pugacheva told the Russian Ministry of Justice and her 3.5 million followers on Instagram.
“Because I stand in solidarity with my husband, who is an honest and ethical person, a true and imperishable Russian patriot, who only wishes prosperity, peace and freedom of expression in his motherland,” Pugacheva said.
Pugacheva added that her husband wanted “the end of the death of our boys for illusory purposes that make our country a pariah and weigh heavily on the lives of its citizens”.
She became hugely popular during Soviet times and has remained so ever since.
The pop star’s husband, Maxim Galkin, a TV presenter now living abroad, has often criticized the operation in Ukraine.
Russian media said Pugacheva left the country after the offensive began.
She was seen in Moscow at the funeral of the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev – who was trying to initiate democratic reforms – on September 3.
Russian authorities have crushed any criticism of the offensive in Ukraine and have handed out fines and prison sentences.
Many Russian performers denouncing the conflict had their shows canceled.
Pugacheva has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin several times, but she has never publicly supported him.