Russia’s defining 20th-century pop star, Alla Pugacheva, declared her opposition to the invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, emerging as the most significant celebrity to come out against the war as President Vladimir Putin of Russia faces growing challenges on and off the battlefield.

Pugacheva, who is 73, wrote in a post on Instagram, where she has 3.4 million followers, that Russians were dying in Ukraine for "illusory goals.” The war, she wrote, was "turning our country into a pariah and worsening the lives of our citizens.”

The pop star left Russia for Israel after the war began in February and recently returned to Moscow, according to Russian news reports. Her husband, television showman and comedian Maksim Galkin, has been vocal in his opposition to the war, but Pugacheva, while voicing support for her husband, had not directly commented on the war before her post Sunday.