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Russian artists began canceling concerts in their home country and joining a larger “no to war” campaign condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine on February 24 after recognizing the independence of two breakaway regions of the country. He called the attack a “special military mission”.
Outspoken Russian pop group Pussy Riot used their stage to protest the war.
Founding member Nadya Tolokonnikova recently dropped an “F— Putin” during a concert in New York.
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“I hate war. I love peace. I support Ukraine. F— Putin. I hope he dies soon,” Tolokonnikova said.
Tolokonnikova spoke to The Guardian about the devastation in Ukraine.
“I’m in a panic, I cry everyday,” she told the outlet. “I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it makes sense. It wasn’t something that was supposed to happen. It’s a disaster that will end the lives of thousands of people. I’m freaking out .
“You can’t be nice to Putin”
“People underestimate how dangerous dictators are. In 2014 we talked to the UK Parliament, we talked to the US Senate, a lot of people asked us how they should talk to Putin, how they should frame the conversation , and I’ve always advised that they be as strict as possible. You can’t be nice to Putin.”
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Pussy Riot has been outspoken against Putin for years and two of its members spent two years in prison for speaking out against the Russian government.
Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested after the group staged a flash mob-like performance at a Moscow cathedral. They performed the song “Close to the Altar” and encouraged the Virgin Mary to “throw Putin out”.
“I was traumatized by prison,” Tolokonnikova told the Guardian. “I was barely functional when I was released. I suffered from very severe depression in 2014. I am still on medication for depression caused by PTSD.”
Conductor Semyon Bychkov has canceled upcoming performances in June with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow.
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“It’s a painful decision because I was looking forward to making music with exceptionally gifted young Russian artists,” Bychkov said. “Yet to do so in the present circumstances would be an impermissible act of acquiescence.”
“I want the spirit of this decision to be unequivocal: it is in no way directed at the orchestra or its audience. The emotional pain of ordinary Russians at this time, the sense of shame and the economic losses that “they suffer are real. So It’s a feeling of helplessness in the face of the repression inflicted by the regime. Individuals who dare to oppose this war put their lives in danger. They need us, free to take a stand and to say: ‘The guns must be silenced so that we can celebrate life rather than death.’”
Russian rapper Oxxxymiron, officially known as Miron Fyodorov, has canceled six sold-out shows scheduled in Moscow and St Petersburg as part of the anti-war movement.
“I know that most people in Russia are against this war, and I am convinced that the more people talk about their true attitude towards it, the sooner we can stop this horror,” Oxxxymiron said in a video posted on Instagram. .
“I can’t entertain you when Russian missiles fall on Ukraine. When people in Kiev are forced to hide in basements and in the subway while people die.”
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“Shame of Russia”
Russian prima ballerina Olga Smirnova has publicly admitted that she is “ashamed of Russia”.
“I can only say that with every fiber of my soul I am against war,” Smirnova wrote on a newly created Telegram account, according to the New York Post.
“I never thought I would be ashamed of Russia. I have always been proud of the talent of the Russian people, our cultural and sporting achievements,” added the 30-year-old. “But now the line is drawn between before and after.
“It hurts that people die, while others are deprived of a roof over their heads or forced to leave their homes. Political problems in a modern civilized society should be solved exclusively through peaceful negotiations. “
Apart from Russian artists, other stars from all over the world denounce the war.
British ballet dancer Xander Parish has revealed he is leaving Russia and the country’s prestigious Mariinsky Ballet “until peace comes”.
“Dear friends and followers, tonight I was supposed to play Giselle at the Mariinsky Theater but instead, due to the terrible crisis, I made the difficult decision to leave Russia, at least until the peace come”, Parish wrote.
“My heart goes out to Ukrainians near and far, including @kate_chebykina pictured with me here in @jivoy_dance’s ‘I’m not Scared.’ hosted 12 years ago and gave me a career in classical ballet that I could only have dreamed of.”
Green Day has canceled a concert, scheduled for May, in Moscow.
“With heavy hearts, in light of current events, we find it necessary to cancel our upcoming show in Moscow at Spartak Stadium,” Green Day wrote on its instagram story.
“We are aware that this moment is not about rock concerts in stadiums, it is much more important than that. But we also know that rock and roll is eternal and we are convinced that there will be a moment and a place for us to come back to in the future,” The group continued. “Refunds available at point of purchase. Stay safe.”
Over the past two weeks, major players in Hollywood took swift action on their own to condemn President Vladimir Putin’s actions with musicians, festival organizers and industry leaders announcing their decisions to postpone events in Russia, dramatically limiting entertainment offerings in the country.
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Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24.
A Russian airstrike on Wednesday devastated a maternity hospital in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol amid growing warnings from the West that the invasion of Moscow is about to take a more brutal and indiscriminate turn. Ukrainian officials said at least 17 people were injured in the attack.
Melissa Roberto of Fox News Digital and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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