Russian pop star Alla Pugacheva speaks out against war in Ukraine | Russia

The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”.

The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticised the conflict.

Her husband, Maxim Galkin, joined journalists, human rights activists and Kremlin opponents in being labelled a “foreign agent” last week for opposing the war.

Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.

“Because I stand in solidarity with my husband, who is an honest and ethical person, a true and incorruptible Russian patriot, who only wishes for prosperity, peace and freedom of expression in his motherland.”

She said her husband wanted “the end of the deaths of our boys for illusory goals that make our country a pariah and weigh heavily on the lives of its citizens”.

Pugacheva, 73, who has sold more than 250m records, became hugely popular during the Soviet era and has remained so over a career spanning more than 55 years.

Galkin, a TV presenter who now lives abroad, has often criticised the war in Ukraine.

Russian media said Pugacheva left the country after the invasion began in February. She was seen in Moscow at the funeral of the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on 3 September.

Russian authorities have clamped down on any criticism of the war in Ukraine, handing out fines and prison sentences to dissenters. Many Russian artists who denounced the conflict had their shows cancelled.

Pugacheva has met the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, several times, but she has never publicly supported him.

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