Russia Declares Popular Rapper and Writer Foreign Agents – The Russian justice ministry has designated one of the country’s most popular rappers as a foreign agent, a legal designation used to pursue Kremlin critics and journalists. Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, was added to an updated list of foreign agents, along with four journalists and prominent writer Dmitry Glukhovsky.
The Kremlin’s Ukraine offensive, according to the rapper, is a catastrophe and a crime. He cancelled a planned Russian tour in protest of the invasion, then left Russia and performed a series of Russians Against The War concerts in Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Authorities announced in late August that they were looking into his work under the country’s anti-extremism laws. Extremist material is effectively prohibited under Russian law.
Those listed as foreign agents are subject to stringent financial reporting requirements. It also requires them to include a disclaimer stating that they are foreign agents before publishing anything. Oxxxymiron, whose lyrics are strongly political and who has attended rallies in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, was a prominent rapper in Russia before the war, enjoying widespread popularity in a country where hip-hop is a popular genre.
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In an interview in January, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov praised his work as astounding in its depth. Glukhovsky, a popular Russian science fiction writer who also condemned the offensive and was placed on a wanted list for discrediting the Russian army, was also labeled a foreign agent.
The author of “Metro 2033,” a 2002 post-apocalyptic fiction novel, was added to the list after a Russian court ordered his arrest in absentia for criticizing the offensive. Alena Popova, a feminist politician who has long advocated for domestic violence legislation in Russia, and Irina Storozheva, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Liberty, were also added to the list of foreign agents.