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Maksim Galkin declared a ‘foreign agent’

The Russian Ministry of Justice has included the artist Maksim Galkin on its list of individuals fulfilling the function of a “foreign agent.”

The Ministry claims that Galkin carries out political activities and receives help from a foreign source – Ukraine.

Galkin posted his reaction on Instagram:

The rationale for the decision is that I allegedly receive funds from Ukraine, with which I do political activities. First of all, I don’t do political activities. On stage at my concerts, I do humor and political satire, as I have for 28 years. [...]

If I address my subscribers and viewers without artistic genre, but as a citizen, and as a person, I do so absolutely sincerely. Sincerely and staying honest to myself. To the Ministry of Justice, decent people, a group I hope I am part of, don’t pay for sincerity and honesty. I don’t sell my opinion or my thoughts, and I don’t buy others’. I don’t trade in conscience.

Galkin added that he received money from Ukraine “at some point about 10 years ago when I gave a concert there.”

Of course, the reason is contrived. Why this is happening, I don’t know. I won’t abandon humor and satire to suit the political climate. I joked about our politicians before, and I’ll keep joking. I consider this normal. I have a right to work, just like I have a right to free speech, protected in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Which the Ministry of Justice should probably also be protecting. [...] A foreign agent is a foreign agent. I don’t consider myself one.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Maksim Galkin spoke out repeatedly against the war. In early September, Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president’s press secretary, said that Galkin had made “very bad statements” and that “he is clearly not on the same path as us.”

Galkin and his wife, Alla Pugacheva, left Russia shortly after the start of the war. Pugacheva, who has not made any public statements about the invasion of Ukraine, returned in August. Galkin, judging by his social media accounts, remains abroad.

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