Pop queen criticizes Putin: – A blow to the face

Alla Pugacheva is a very popular artist in Russia, and she was famous long before Russian President Vladimir Putin became famous.

Among other things, she has been described as “Moscow’s Tina Turner” and “Russia’s Dolly Parton”. She has a lot of influence and is therefore not just anyone.

On Sunday, she lashed out at Putin and his “special operation” in Ukraine.

– It is the killing of our boys for illusory goals that makes our country a pariah state and makes life difficult for our citizens, she wrote on her Instagram account.

According to Russia expert Inna Sangadzhieva, Pugacheva’s fan base is large, and many of them are typical Putin voters: the passive majority and women aged 50 and over.

POP QUEEN: Alla Pugacheva has been one of Russia’s biggest stars since the 1970s. Photo: INTS KALNINS / Reuters / NTB

Awakened by “foreign agent”

Thus, the criticism can help to wake up the Russian public, believes Sangadzhieva, who is a senior adviser in the Helsinki Committee.

– She has a large fan base that she can reach, both those who follow her on social media, but also outside.

In the statement, the pop queen demands to be labeled a “foreign agent” after Russian authorities recently gave that label to Pugacheva’s husband, TV personality and comedian Maxim Galkin, who has also criticized Putin.

The senior advisor of the Helsinki Committee says that when the artist uses words like “foreign agents”, it gives people who are sleeping in class opportunities to catch her statement.

The designation “foreign agent” means that one is subject to a number of restrictions and labor-intensive procedures by the Russian authorities.

This was introduced about ten years ago to punish the critical voices. Journalists, activists and politicians are seen as “foreign agents”, and in recent months artists have also become part of this list, says Sangadzhieva.

Making such criticism as Pugacheva has done is rare in Russia these days, where people risk up to 15 years in prison for protesting the war.

– Saw it coming

– Was Russia prepared for this criticism?

– I think it is difficult for them, because everything has not gone according to plan in the beginning. Criticism about the war has also come from other artists, says Sangadzhieva

– But she is such a great artist, and when the authorities put her husband on the agent list, I suppose that someone in Putin’s circle had expected a reaction to come, she continues.

The Russia expert believes that another person, such as an opposition politician, could have received seven years in prison for the statement, but that the pop queen may not receive the same type of punishment.

It is not known whether Pugacheva will be punished.

The sum of her criticism and also other critical voices in the highly controlled Russian public can help wake people up.

– In addition to what Pugacheva has posted and other critical voices, more people are getting the economic situation and are becoming more aware of what is happening, she says.

MANY FOLLOWERS: The Russian pop artist has over three million followers on Instagram, where she published the criticism.  In addition, she has many fans as a result of being Russia's great pop queen.  Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP / NTB

MANY FOLLOWERS: The Russian pop artist has over three million followers on Instagram, where she published the criticism. In addition, she has many fans as a result of being Russia’s great pop queen. Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP / NTB

– Could this threaten Putin’s position?

– Yes, I certainly think it can. I would like to think that Putin did not expect a reaction from her, and I would like to think that he is in a situation like a kind of mouse that is trapped, says Inna Sangadzhieva of the Helsinki Committee.

– Punch in the face

The Putin regime will not comment on the criticism the pop queen has made.

– This question is not relevant to the Kremlin in any way. Therefore, I will not comment on it, says Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the American website Grid News.

One person who has worked closely with Putin is his former speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov.

He is now a political analyst and has spoken out critical of the war several times.

SILENCE: The Putin regime has not commented on the pop queen's criticism.  Photo: Sergei Bobylev / AP / NTB

SILENCE: The Putin regime has not commented on the pop queen’s criticism. Photo: Sergei Bobylev / AP / NTB

– This is not a knockout, but a hard punch in the face. Whatever the Kremlin mutters now, it won’t change anything. If there is someone all Russians agree is important, it is of course Pugacheva, he writes on Telegram according to Grid News.

The editor-in-chief of the now defunct radio station Ekho Moskvy points out that it is difficult for the pop singer to make such a statement.

– In the text of Alla Pugacheva there is a personal part (solidarity to her husband) and a civil part (peaceful life, freedom of expression and an end to the death of the boys for illusory goals). It is important. And let me also remind you that this was written in Moscow, and not in safety abroad, says Alexej Venediktov on Telegram.

However, it is unknown whether the pop queen is in Russia or not.

Also gets taunts

The Russian pop star is also mocked for the statement.

– These poets, harlequins and jugglers take every chance they get to sing and dance, to be vulgar connoisseurs, writes the head of Putin’s human rights commission, Valeriy Fadeyev, in a statement on the commission’s website, according to NTB.

One of her most famous songs is called “Harlekino”.

The Russian rapper Timati, who supports Putin, has also lashed out at Pugacheva and criticized her for a lack of patriotism.

Russian politicians are still trying to convince people that what they are doing in Ukraine is a “special operation”.

– I am sorry that Pugacheva, the most popular singer in Russia in the past, has lost touch with reality so much and is in solidarity with those who today want Russia’s defeat, writes Pyotr Tolstoy, who is deputy chairman of the State Duma, according to Grid News.

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