Zakharova Lyrics Banned in Ukraine, Five People Arrested for Celebrating VDay With "Soviet Symbols"
Five years in prison for «promoting Soviet symbols» – that's the sentence that awaits Ukrainians who celebrated Victory Day. There aren't many, five people in total; three are from Odessa; they became participants in a criminal case because they used red flags during Victory Day.
Someone, according to this picture, hung a flag right from their apartment window. This is an official police photograph. By the way, the hammer and sickle are carefully blurred, so that wouldn't be considered communist propaganda on the official police website.
And here they got scared by the inscription, «Onward to Berlin!» The victorious red flag didn't flutter for long, as you can see it's also blurred, they managed to track down the driver, but they practically had to use an amber alert.
Besides these felony cases, three dozen misdemeanor cases were also filed for wearing Saint George's ribbons. People continue to wear them every year, despite these symbols of victory being beyond the pale in Ukraine.
Such «diversions» happen even there, where one doesn't expect them at all. For example, in the city of Krivoy Rog, a dance group is unexpectedly being inspected. They are guilty of choosing the repertoire for the official Victory Day performance. They sang and danced to a song, the words of which are now being carefully inspected by the Ukrainian special services.
Nikolay Sokolov will explain what's the matter.
– So, how's the progress of the SBU on the literary front?
– I hope that the career of this singer isn't over, but it's quite possible that she'll have to defend herself and sing other songs in the near future.
It's improper to dispute someone's taste when it comes to music, but in this case, the singer's preference may have crossed the line. This wouldn't even appear in the nightmares of local officials. It wasn't just a song of a Russian singer that was heard at the concert where they were, but the lyrics were written by the Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the footage, the song by the famous Russian singer, Nargiz, was performed by fans. Nargiz was born in Uzbekistan, but she lived in the USA for a long time, then she won in the Russian The Voice talent show. The singer is international. Last year, she put into music the words of Maria Zakharova, who made a speech memorializing fallen soldiers. For over a year, internet users had pleaded her to write the song.
Maria Zakharova, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: «I received the music and the lyrics. I may have had the opportunity to spin it somehow, to record it in some studios with someone, to promote it. But that's not how it went. I posted the lyrics on my page and people started sending me letters».
Officials and police authorities promise to punish those who got the idea to dare perform this song in Krivoy Rog. But other artists doubt that it will be possible to find the guilty party, because, as it's known, Ukraine and Russia border each other. In the south of Russia alone, for example, singers, composers, and musicians have been friends for a long time here. The songs of the two countries often sound in the same repertoire.
Gennady Kulava, singer/songwriter:«Many of my friends, musicians, composers, and poets, stayed in Ukraine; starting with Western Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkov, and Kiev. And I assure you that reasonable people understand the whole essence of the cultural bond between Russia and Ukraine»
A Ukrainian stage or a Russian stage; sometimes it's hard to draw the line between them. Many performers are famous on both sides of the border. Svetlana Loboda, Ani Lorak, Maks Barskih, and many other artists risk criminal charges in Kiev for performing in Russia, while the list of the Russian artists who are forbidden from entering Ukraine, is constantly extending.
Victor Drobysh, music producer: «The way I see it, this is the greatest display of weakness. Because if you start pressuring people; telling them what to perform, how to perform, whom to ban, for example, 70% of our artists are banned in Ukraine, I think it makes these politicians, who are keeping an eye on artists, look bad».
But as it's known, in the world of art, if something is forbidden, it grows more popular. The silver lining in this story is that the belated holiday's heroes, the veterans, looked really happy in the footage. Because, just like in 1945, they let neither ethnicity nor songs divide them.
– Nikolay Sokolov about the literary «diversion» in Ukraine.