SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Artists, musicians especially, occupy a unique position in society. Their lyrics and music express those feelings that many of us identify with. Their songs capture the moment in which we live and save those feelings for posterity and indeed, as we mature, we go back to the music to recapture a certain feeling or moment in our lives.
Musicians remain in the consciousness of a society even when they are not currently performing. Alla Pugacheva, one of – if not the most – beloved pop star in modern Russian history recently posted on her Instagram page, that the Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine is turning the country into a “pariah”.
She posted these harsh words after her husband, Maxim Galkin, along with other artists and journalists, was named a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin. The Kremlin labelled Galkin a opponent of the Russian state after he repeatedly spoke out against and publicly opposed the war in Ukraine.
Pugacheva, who was recently in Russia to attend the funeral of former Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has been living abroad since February of this year when the war started, reports The Guardian.
Pugacheva’s Instagram post was aimed at the Russian Justice Ministry. In it, Pugacheva told her more than 3 million 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.”
The backlash for speaking out against the Kremlin is varied. People who criticize the war in Ukraine can face prison. They can also face systemic harassment from the Russian state. Artists who have dared to speak out have had their shows cancelled from Russian TV.
Here is a brief list of people who have been forced out of Russia for criticizing Russia’s war in Ukraine:
Some content and information provided by DW, The Guardian, ABC News Australia, Google Images, YouTube, and Wikipedia.