Russian pop star's war criticism stirs vigorous debate

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian pop singer Alla Pugacheva pose for a photo during an awards ceremony in Moscow's Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. Iconic Russian singer Alla Pugacheva, hugely popular since Soviet times, says she wants to be placed on Russia's foreign agents list in solidarity with her husband who has been designated as one. The statement by Pugacheva on Instagram on Sunday is a notable slap from a prominent figure at Russian authorities, who have stifled dissent in recent years.

A Russian mega-pop star’s criticism of President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has set off intense reactions on social media, posing a critical question: Will the iconic singer’s disapproving Instagram post mark a turning point in Russian public opinion?

At the risk of being branded a traitor, Alla Pugacheva used her famous voice over the weekend to question the seven-month war, becoming the most prominent Russian celebrity to do so. Pugacheva’s post described the homeland that gave her its highest civilian honors as “a pariah” and said Russian soldiers were dying for “illusory goals.”

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