November 01, 2014

Season of Scandals

As summer turned into fall, a series of highly public spats broke out in Russia, with celebrities and cultural figures demonstrating deeply polarized attitudes about the crisis in Ukraine, the Kremlin, and history.

In one such spat, famed Russian rocker Andrei Makarevich gave a concert in Slavyansk, a city in eastern Ukraine that had been under the control of pro-Russian separatist forces but then was recaptured by Kiev.

Makarevich, who publicly opposed the annexation of Crimea, faced a barrage of accusations. Pro-Kremlin film director Nikita Mikhalkov said that Makarevich’s concert was “as if [Soviet megastar] Claudia Shulzhenko sang in Nazi-occupied Minsk or Kiev, with swastikas hanging in the background.” Mikhalkov further chided Makarevich for not giving a concert for the rebels and for not rejoicing in Crimea’s annexation.

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