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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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