The Russian mega-pop star’s criticism of President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has sparked a fierce backlash on social media, raising a crucial question: Will the popular singer’s Instagram post rejection mark a turning point in Russian public opinion??
Faced with the danger of being labeled a traitor, Alla Pugacheva used her famous voice over the weekend to discredit the Seven Months War., to become the most prominent Russian celebrity to do so. Pugacheva’s letter described the homeland that bestowed her on her highest civilian honor as “a pariah” and said that Russian soldiers were dying for “imaginary goals”.
It was a watershed moment, one that blew a hole in the narrative of the Kremlin that vigorously defended the causes and goals of its invasion of neighboring Ukraine on February 24.and threatens to undo months of carefully designed war propaganda.
The singer, arguably Russia’s most popular singer in decades, shared her thoughts as Putin faces mounting pressure both militarily — as Ukrainian forces retake strategic areas from Russian forces — and diplomatically, with even key allies expressing concerns about global repercussions. caused by World War II. war.
At 73, Pugacheva is as widely admired as she was when she appeared on the Russian pop scene nearly half a century ago. Older Russians who have grown up listening to her music are Putin’s mainstay, and are largely silent about the war.
The turning point for the singer appears to have been the appointment by the Russian Ministry of Justice of Pugacheva’s husband, comedian and TV presenter Maxim Galkin, as a foreign agent on Saturday for allegedly carrying out political activities on behalf of Ukraine and receiving Ukrainian funding. Galkin had previously criticized the war.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Pugacheva told her 3.5 million followers and others who saw her comments elsewhere that she also wanted to be added to Russia’s foreign agents registry, in solidarity with her husband, whom she called a “true and incorruptible patriot who wants” The end of the death of our children for illusory goals makes our country a pariah and greatly affects the lives of its citizens.”
While Russian public figures such as politicians, singers, actors and writers have spoken out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine despite the Kremlin’s attempt to suppress dissent, Pugacheva is by far the biggest name to do so.
Her Instagram post was in great contempt for the Kremlin and his predecessors who called Pugacheva People’s Artist of the Soviet Union, awarded her the State Prize of the Russian Federation, and decorated her with the Chevalier Order “For Merit of the Motherland”. Featured regularly and celebrated on state-run television, for several generations of audiences, especially for nostalgia fans.
A Kremlin spokesman declined to comment on Monday, but Medusa, a Latvian-based Russian news website that has also declared Russia to be a foreign agent, published a report of the reactions that included at least one official voice.
Deputy Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, said that Pugacheva “has lost touch with reality a lot and is in solidarity with those who today wish for the defeat of Russia.”
“You will no longer find support among respectable Russians,” Tolstoy, a close ally of Putin, predicted. “We would win without her songs,” he added.
Valery Fadeev, head of the Russian President’s Human Rights Council, accused Pugacheva of honestly citing humanitarian concerns to justify her criticism of the 7-month-old conflict. He predicted that famous artists like her would have less influence on the public after the war.
“The new faces – soldiers, doctors, military correspondents, volunteers – will be our elite,” wrote Fadeev.
Veteran Russian opposition activist Lev Schlossberg said the volume of responses showed Pugacheva’s comments struck a chord in Russian society.
“The reaction of sympathy and direct support shows the direction in which public opinion will move,” Medusa was quoted as saying.
Veronika Belotserkovskaya, a famous Russian-language cookbook author and blogger who lives in France and is also skeptical of the war, believes that the singer’s criticisms were not aimed at the fans but were “written for power.”
“This is a general slap in the face. …everyone heard it. It speaks their language, shattering their narrative.
Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky, director of the Moscow-based National Strategic Research Institute, went so far as to declare Pugacheva “the de facto leader of the anti-war part of Russian society.”
It is not clear what legal repercussions Pugacheva may face. On March 4, Putin signed a law allowing prison terms of up to 15 years for spreading allegedly false information about the military.
If the Russian government grants its wish to be declared a foreign agent, the singer will have to prominently mark her social media content and be subject to other financial and bureaucratic requirements.
Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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