Olga Buzova, a famous Russian singer known for her backing of Vladimir Putin and participation in Kremlin propaganda projects, has been the subject of speculations that the European Union had taken her off of its sanctions list.
In March 2021, several people and organizations, including Buzova, were sanctioned for their suspected roles in the abuse of human rights in Russia and the annexation of Crimea. An asset freeze and travel ban were part of the sanctions.
At the outset of the war in Ukraine, Buzova rose to fame for dedicating a song to Russians evading forced mobilization. Since then, she has used social media to voice her support for the conflict that Putin is promoting and to attack Russians who have fled the country in protest of his actions.
Buzova was reportedly seen vacationing in Barcelona, fueling speculation that the restrictions against her had been lifted. This led to allegations that she had been taken off the sanctions list.
While her critics claimed that her support for Putin and participation in Kremlin propaganda make her complicit in the regime’s authoritarianism and violations of human rights, her supporters saw this as a victory for Russian patriotism.
Although the EU has not confirmed whether Buzova has been taken off the sanctions list, the rumors have already sparked a discussion about the EU’s policy toward Russia and the part that people like Buzova play in the Kremlin’s disinformation apparatus.