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Rock Musicians Speak Out Against Military Intervention

Published: March 19, 2014 (Issue # 1802)

  • Boris Grebenshchikov of Akvarium, is against Russian military intervention.
    Photo: nca

Some leading Russian rock musicians have spoken out against war.

Its a small wonder, as rock musicians are generally expected to be against war of any kind. In addition, few musicians know Ukraine better than Russian rock musicians, as Ukrainian cities were almost always part of their tour routes, as well as Russia being a necessary destination for leading Ukrainian bands.

Related: Maidan Protesters, For and Against, Meet on Field of Mars

Not that speaking out against Russias military involvement does not require courage in the atmosphere of intolerance created by the Kremlin and its media outlets, with the risk of having concerts canceled and music banned from being played on the radio or elsewhere.

Following a vote by the Federation Council on Mar. 1, which unanimously supported Russian President Vladimir Putins plans to invade Ukraine, the hugely popular singer-songwriter Zemfira posted an amateur live video on her website in which she performed a song by Ukrainian band Okean Elzy.

Called Vidpusti (Let Me Go), the song was originally recorded at Zemfiras stadium concert in Kiev on Mar. 5, 2008.

Introducing the song, Zemfira offered words of support to Ukrainian musicians. There is more money in Russia, but there is more soul in Ukraine, she said before calling its author, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Ukraines most talented composer.

Related: Local Protesters Acquitted in Maidan Event

Earlier, Okean Elzys Russian concerts, due to take place in late March, were banned following an outcry from the St. Petersburg Legislative Assemblys United Russia deputy Vitaly Milonov. Officially, the gigs were canceled over alleged financial or technical issues.

There was nothing else on Zemfiras website other than the video against a black background, which highlighted the artists strong and tragic statement.

The video was replaced by the word Reconstruction on Mar. 10, but on the same day Zemfira posted a fragment from the Russian film Stalingrad, where dark battle sequences in the totally destroyed city were accompanied by her piano-backed cover of the Kino song Legend.

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Saturday, Aug. 23

Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.

Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.

Sunday, Aug. 24

The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.

Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.

Monday, Aug. 25

Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.

Tuesday, Aug. 26

Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.

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