Russian celebrities turn their backs on Vladimir Putin

MAxim Galkin is one of the Kremlin’s newest problem children. The comedian and TV presenter is well known in Russia, reaches millions of viewers via Instagram alone and, as the fifth husband of pop singer Alla Pugacheva (“One Million Roses”), is also a celebrity cover darling. . After Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24, Galkin wrote on Instagram that he had been in contact with relatives and friends in the neighboring country since early morning. “Words cannot describe how I feel! How is all this possible! Nothing can justify war! No to war!”

In Russia, you can now go to jail for such words. Galkin traveled to Israel with his family in March, but spoke again with an Instagram post about Orthodox Easter in late April. Shortly before, eight people died in a Russian rocket attack on the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, including three generations of a family, a three-month-old baby girl, her mother and her granddaughter. -mother. “It’s not all us. But what are we doing here?” he asks. On the one hand, Russian officials prayed with Patriarch Kirill, on the other hand, cruise missiles flew into a building, Galkin said Russia denies responsibility for the attack the same way it denied responsibility for the Bucha massacres or the downing of flight MH17 in July 2014 above from eastern Ukraine, the comedian continued. This post alone has been viewed more than six and a half million times on Instagram. This is also remarkable because in Russia, this platform is only accessible indirectly through a VPN connection.

Frontal attack on the “RT” boss

Galkin is one of many Russian comedians, musicians, actors, directors and other celebrities who have spoken out against the Russian war. Rapper Oxxxymiron, who has previously been arrested at opposition rallies, has even performed concerts abroad to raise money for war refugees. In Russia, music groups DDT and Bi-2 refused to perform on stage with the “Z” symbol in the background, representing support for the war and for Putin himself. The “Medusa” news portal (whose website in Russia is also accessible only via VPN) wrote, citing “three sources close to the Kremlin”, that Putin’s presidential administration was “concerned” about statements such celebrities against the war.

Singer Filipp Kirkorov attacked the boss of


Singer Filipp Kirkorov attacked RT boss Margarita Simonjan head-on on Instagram.
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Picture: Picture Alliance

“Artists are opinion leaders, they influence their audiences, their unstable souls,” said one of Medusa’s interlocutors. From then on, critics became the target of poster campaigns that made them appear as traitors and were no longer allowed to appear. Bans on performing were already widespread before the war.

According to one of the sources, the campaign against Kremlin critics has not yet started in full force. Galkin, however, has been openly attacked on state television, possibly due to his fame and social media reach: RT broadcaster Margarita Simonyan accused him of “hypocrisy ” on the channel “Rossiya 1” after the Easter message because “everyone knows exactly that he is gay” and that he married an “old woman” “for his career”. Pugacheva is 27 years older than Galkin, 45, and the couple have eight-year-old twin girls who were delivered by surrogate.

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