War in Ukraine: Russia has retaliated against anti-war musicians

    Image credit: militarytimes.com

    A few days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Media Group (RMG), one of Russia’s major media corporations, issued a statement explaining why specific musicians would no longer be played on its popular radio stations or music TV channels.

    The harsh words these singers made about Russia in the light of the tough situation between Russia and Ukraine were the grounds for this decision, the statement stated.

    It added that the company’s first goal was respect for its listeners and that the singers’ “arrogant and disdainful attitude toward Russian fans” left it with no alternative but to cancel its relationship with them.

    Several Ukrainian musicians were on the list, as were three Russian acts, including the famed rock band Aquarium, whose lead singer, Boris Grebenshchikov, had termed the war “madness” in an Instagram post. Political pressure is nothing new to him.

    Ukrainian musician Ivan Dorn posted a video on Instagram on the first day of the war, urging Russians to “stop this tragedy” and “not participate in this deadly war.”

    Days later, he was added to the Russian Media Group’s list of banned performers, and his name appeared on yet another “black list” released to the Russian media, demanding that some musicians be barred from performing due to their anti-war sentiments. 

    It’s unclear who made the “black list” or where it came from, and there’s no way to verify its validity, but music industry insiders claim such records are frequent.

    Russian rapper Oxxxymiron, whose name has been disseminated in Russian media as part of a “black list,” has cancelled his upcoming tour in Russia and instead organised charity performances overseas dubbed “Russians Against War” to collect money for Ukrainian refugees.

    At a performance in Istanbul, he raised nearly $30,000 (£22,760), and he’ll be in London later this week.

    Oxxxymiron claimed that he couldn’t “entertain people while Russian rockets fall on Ukraine, while citizens of Kyiv are forced to hide in their basements and the subway, and while people are dying” on announcing the cancellation of his Russian tour.