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Russian President Vladmir Putin’s pop star ally continued to be licensed in the United States, where he reportedly hosted rallies and performed while trying to dump his possessions in an effort to avoid sanctions.
“This is a typical hypocrisy of Russian oligarchs like Philip Kirkorov: they love to vacation in the United States, enjoy the lavish lifestyle and luxurious properties here, while at the same time denigrate American society and our values,” Rebekah Koffler, former The DIA intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital.
According to Wednesday reports in Russian media, Russian pop star Philip Kirkorov recently made an urgent trip to the United States with an apparent attempt to sell off property to avoid US sanctions. He is reportedly still in Miami, where he owns a mansion, a place where he has previously vacationed with his children and bragged about his luxurious lifestyle there.
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The pop singer, who won “Best Selling Russian Artist” at the Five Times World Music Awards, has long been a strong supporter of Putin. In a 2021 interview with Russian media, Kirkorov called Putin “the best president” while encouraging Russians to rally around the president. He was one of the first supporters of the annexation of Crimea to Russia in 2014. The BBC reported that his support earned him the ban from Ukraine.
Putin and Kirkorov had a long friendship. In 2006, Putin and then-wife Ocheretnaya attended one of the pop star’s concerts, where Kirkorov jumped off stage to deliver flowers to the former Russian first lady. In 2017, Putin awarded Kirkorov the Order of Honor for his achievements and contributions to Russian musical arts. Putin once again honored the star with the title of People’s Artist of Russia, the country’s highest accolade for the arts, this year.
Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said he considers a pop star a friend, telling Russian media that Kirkorov has “come forward to support his president when necessary”.
But Kirkorov’s relationship with Putin has led to questioning why he has been allowed to enter the United States and has so far managed to avoid sanctions.
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“It is a shame that the US government has granted a visa to Kirkorov, who is sunbathing in Miami as Ukrainian refugees are scattered across Europe in search of food and shelter,” Koffler said.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request from Fox News to comment on why Kirkorov was granted a visa and has so far avoided sanctions.