Russian star and Putin critic Maxim Galkin fills the Irish venue for a live show tonight

A venue in Drogheda is almost sold out tonight for a show by Maxim Galkin, a Russian entertainer and critic of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Axim Galkin, one of the biggest stars of Russia and the former Soviet Union, will perform at the TLT Tommy Leddy Theater where ticket prices range from €63 to €127.

Conor Mulhall, general manager of the TLT, said the 900-seat theater was almost sold out as tickets were being stolen by Russians and Ukrainians who wanted to see Galkin, who spent part of his childhood in the Ukrainian city of Odessa.

“Maxim has been a huge supporter of Ukraine since the beginning of the war and he was very brave to stick his head over the parapet,” Mulhall said. “A portion of the proceeds from the concert and its tour will go to Ukrainian charities, and there will be an allocation of free tickets to Ukrainian refugees.”

Galkin is the most prominent Russian star to condemn the Kremlin invasion and has been condemned back home in Russia by other celebrities and politicians for his support for Ukraine.

A State Duma group included Galkin on a list of celebrities, including prominent directors and actors, who have either opposed the war or refused to support President Vladimir Putin’s “military special operation.”

Galkin will perform at the same venue in Ireland as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelynskyy. Galkin and Zelynskyy previously worked together as actors and humorists on Russian TV shows.

In 2018, the President of Ukraine was a stand-up comic and actor before becoming his country’s leader. He performed at the TLT in Drogheda for a stage production of his TV sitcom Servant of The People.

Zelynskyy played the President of Ukraine in the show, which was a smash hit with audiences in Eastern Europe. His satirical TV show follows a history teacher who was unexpectedly elected president after a video of him ranting about government corruption went viral.

Galkin was slammed back home in Russia by other celebrities and politicians for his support for Ukraine. The State Duma group has compiled a blacklist of prominent figures like Galkin who have not publicly declared their support for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation”.

Duma MP Dmitry Kuznetsov said these industry figures should be sent on a trip to war-torn Donbass in eastern Ukraine “to be re-educated” – and then either publicly admit they were wrong or leave Russia.

At his recent concerts in Poland and the Baltic States, Galkin has frequently criticized the leadership in Moscow and dressed up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Russian media reported that Galkin and his wife, Russian pop singer Alla Pugacheva, fled to Israel after the February invasion of Ukraine. The couple have since relocated to Latvia and Galkin is trying to make a living after losing his main sources of income from Russian TV channel One and several advertising deals.

Galkin was removed from his prime-time show in April after condemning a rocket attack that killed a three-year-old in Ukraine.

The TV presenter criticized the Russian authorities for celebrating the Orthodox Christian ceremony “Holy Fire” while at the same time launching rocket attacks into Ukraine on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

In a video posted to Instagram, he said: “Let’s start with the fact that cruise missiles shouldn’t fly into residential buildings on normal days, not just on holidays.

“But you [Russian] Officials, pray for peace at the same time as the Patriarch of Jerusalem, you come here, you bring the Holy Fire to Moscow – and at the same time, the same authorities are sending these rockets.”

He also expresses anger at Russia’s failure to take responsibility for the downing of MH17 and the atrocities in Ukraine.

“Russia is guilty of so many terrible things, but always says it’s innocent,” he said. “The barbarism in Bucha – it wasn’t us. The Malaysian Boeing – that wasn’t us. Razed Mariupol to the ground – it wasn’t us.” Russian star and Putin critic Maxim Galkin fills the Irish venue for a live show tonight

Fry Electronics Team

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