Russian President Vladmir Putin’s pop-star ally has continued to be allowed into the U.S., where he has been reportedly been hosting gatherings and performing while trying to unload his properties in a bid to avoid sanctions.
“This is a typical hypocrisy by the Russian oligarchs like Philip Kirkorov – they love vacationing in the United States, enjoying the lavish lifestyle and luxurious properties here, while at the same time badmouthing the American society and our values,” Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and the 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 U.S. in an apparent bid to sell off properties to avoid American sanctions. He is still reportedly in Miami, where he owns a mansion, a place where in the past he has vacationed with his children and boasted of his luxurious lifestyle there.
The pop singer, who has won the “Best Selling Russian Artist” at the World Music Awards Five Times, 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 an early supporter of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The BBC reported that support earned him a ban from Ukraine.
Putin and Kirkorov have had a long friendship. In 2006, Putin and then-wife Ocheretnaya attended one of the pop-star’s concerts, where Kirkorov jumped off the stage to hand the former Russian first lady flowers. In 2017, Putin awarded Kirkorov the Order of Honor for his achievements and contributions to Russia’s musical arts. Putin once again awarded the star with the title of the People’s Artist of Russia, the country’s highest award for arts, this year.
Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said he considers a pop star a friend, telling Russian media that Kirkorov has “come forward to support his president when needed.”
But Kirkorov’s relationship with Putin has led to questions about why he has been allowed into the U.S. and has so far managed to avoid sanctions.
“It’s a shame that the U.S. government gave a visa to Kirkorov – who is sunning himself in Miami as Ukrainian refugees are scattered all over Europe scrambling to find food and shelter,” Koffler said.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment on why Kirkorov was given a visa and so far avoided sanctions.