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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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Friday, Oct. 31

Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

Saturday, Nov. 1

The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.

Sunday, Nov. 2

Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.

Monday, Nov. 3

Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.

Tuesday, Nov. 4

Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.

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