Ex-Putin ally in French exile returns medals, slams Putin for leading Russia ‘into Abyss’ | Rest of the World News

Ex-Russian journalist and Putin’s closest aide, Zhanna Agalakova, on Wednesday returned the medals she was awarded by the Russian President saying that he has been “leading the country in to the abyss.” The famous Russian newscaster worked for the state-run TV network Channel One for more than 20 years, but quit in March over the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. She is now living in exile in France. On Wednesday, she posted on social media saying that she had returned two medals: the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, second degree, received in 2006, and the Order of Friendship, awarded in 2018 back to Moscow. 

“Mr President [Putin], your leadership is leading the country into abyss,” the ex Russian journalist said in the note that she shared on Facebook. “I consider your awards unacceptable.”

Putin’s ex-aide also flashed the French post office’s customs declaration for the parcel that showed the destination address as “Kremlin, Moscow, Russia.” Earlier in an interview, she had also urged the Russians to quit watching the state-run networks that she labelled as Kremlin propaganda. “It’s a brainwashing machine,” she told BBC’s Newsnight. “Just don’t listen, find other sources of information.” Further, she called the special military operation of Ukraine “evil” and that it brought “death” and suffering. “It’s like you live in two worlds. Even now when you’re watching the news in Russia, sometimes I do it, it’s like two different planets,” Agalakova maintained. 

Russia blacklists rock legend, journalists, politicians as ‘foreign agents’ for opposing war

One of Russia’s rock legends from the popular band “Mashina Vremeni” or “Time Machine” was blacklisted by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on Sunday for criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionist military agendas and the ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine. 

Andrei Makarevich was seen next to Putin whilst the English rock band The Beatles’ Beatle Paul McCarthy performed an encore of “Back In The U.S.S.R.” on Red Square nearly two decades ago. Makarevich recently became a vocal public critic of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine which prompted the Kremlin to add his name to the list of individuals designated as “foreign agents”.

Besides the rock legend, Russia also declared TV presenter Mikhail Shats and journalists Dmitry Gordon and Katerina Gordeeva as foreign agents for speaking against the regime of the Russian Federation. Others added to the list include the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta. Europe” Kirill Martynov, LGBT activist Kirill Fedorov, journalist Sergei Loiko, former municipal deputy Yulia Galyamina and political scientist Sergei Medvedev, as well as Novosti LLC (the legal entity of the TVK television company). The foreign agent’s list also has Moscow’s staunch critic of Putin, opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s associate Ivan Zhdanov. 

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