Alla Pugacheva: Russian Queen of Pop opposes the Kremlin

Alla Pugacheva
"Blow from Russia's most important woman": Biggest pop diva stands up to Putin

Alla Pugacheva left Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine

Alla Pugacheva left Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine

© Sergei Bobylev / Picture Alliance

Alla Pugacheva is a true institution in Russia. On the pop Olympus, she outlasted all Kremlin bosses from Brezhnev to Yeltsin. Politically, however, she always held back. Until now.

Every Friday becomes in Russia the list of so-called "foreign agents" announced. There are usually several new names on this list. Last Friday, however, it was only one. But what a man: Maxim Galkin.

The comedian and presenter is one of the greatest stars of Russian show business. All of Russia knows his face. And the audience loves him. Günther Jauch, Hape Kerkeling and Stefan Raab would probably not even come up with his popularity ratings together.

For years Galkin was considered untouchable. He even got away with malicious parodies of Vladimir Putin. But the Kremlin is now demonstrating: Anyone can be pushed off Olympus. In Russia he is now considered a "foreign agent". (Find out how Galkin went from icon to public enemy here.)

Alla Pugacheva wants to be declared a "foreign agent".

The decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice caused a big echo in Russian society. The leadership in the Kremlin has thus achieved something that previous governments have not yet achieved: open hostility on the part of the Russian Queen of Pop Alla Pugacheva.

Pugacheva is an icon without equal in Russia. And she is Galkin's wife. Now she is demanding from the Justice Department: "Put me on the list of foreign agents", wrote the diva on Instagram. "For I am in solidarity with my husband, an honest, decent and sincere man, a true and incorruptible patriot of Russia, who wishes for his homeland prosperity, peaceful life, freedom of speech and an end to our boys dying for illusory purposes that our country an outcast and make life difficult for our citizens."

"A Politician of the Alla Pugacheva Era"

Since the beginning of the war, Pugacheva has been in Israel with Galkin. The couple were among the first celebrities to leave Russia in protest against the war. While the comedian immediately made his position clear, Pugacheva held back with political statements. Until now. By demanding that she also be classified as a "foreign agent", she openly opposes him Kremlin. And that for the first time in her decade-long career.

The 73-year-old celebrated her breakthrough in the 1970s. The status it achieved in the decades that followed is illustrated by an anecdote that was very popular in the late Soviet years: future encyclopedias will say that Soviet head of state Leonid Brezhnev was a politician of the Alla Pugacheva era.

A hit from the most important woman in Russia

This old joke can now be retold, commented the philologist and professor at the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrei Desnitsky on Pugacheva's break with the Kremlin. Simply replace Brezhnev's name with the name of the current head of Russia, "who got lost in search of geopolitical greatness," Desnizki said.

The political scientist Arkady Dubnov wrote: "The supreme power in Russia has received a second serious blow to her royal dignity within a few days with the public appeal of the Russian prima donna with a request to recognize her as a foreign agent. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the first blow with the Summit in Samarkand from when he Putin gave a lecture on the inadmissibility of wars in our time. The second blow came from the most important woman in Russia."

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