Iconic Russian singer asks to be named ‘foreign agent’

FILE – Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian pop singer Alla Pugacheva pose for a photo during an award ceremony at the Moscow Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday Dec. 22, 2014. The Russian singer Iconic Alla Pugacheva, hugely popular since Soviet times, says she wants to be placed on Russia’s list of foreign agents in solidarity with her husband who has been named as such. 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. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)Alexei Druzhinin/AP

Iconic Russian singer Alla Pugacheva, hugely popular since Soviet times, says she wants to be placed on 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.

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