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Russian artist fined after criticising war onstage

A veteran Russian artist has been fined for anti-war comments made onstage at a concert earlier this year.

Yury Shevchuk, the 65-year-old frontman of rock band DDT, was charged with “discrediting” the Russian Armed Forces after speaking out against the country’s invasion of Ukraine at the 8,000-cap show in his hometown of Ufa in May, video footage of which was posted online, reports The Moscow Times.

The Kremlin critic, who did not attend last week’s hearing in person due to Covid-related quarantine, received the maximum fine of 50,000 rubles (€842).

In court, Shevchuk’s lawyer Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora human rights group, read out a statement on his client’s behalf that he later published on Russian social media platform Telegram.

“I, Yury Shevchuk, have always been against wars in any country at any time”

“I, Yury Shevchuk, have always been against wars in any country at any time,” says the statement. “I stood against the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Abkhazia, Georgia, Ossetia, in [Nagorno] Karabakh, Iraq and so on,” the musician said in his statement published by Chikov.

“I am also against the war in Donbas that has been going on for eight years and the current special military operation in Ukraine.”

Back in the spring, a blacklist of performers who have spoken out against the war in Ukraine was leaked to Russian media.


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