August 16, 2023

A Video Song-Apology


A Video Song-Apology
The waterpark employees in Crimea. MBD Respubliki Krym, Youtube.

On August 8, three waterpark entertainers in Crimea were filmed singing and dancing to a song by Verka Serduchka, a well-known Ukrainian singer. On August 11, a court fined them and forced the employees to record a video of them apologizing and singing "Vladimir Putin-Molodets" (Vladimir Putin is Great). 

Two of the employees (who are 19, 20, and 26) traveled to Crimea from Russia for the summer, while the third is from Crimea. Alexander Talipov, a pro-war blogger, posted a video on his Telegram of the three employees dancing to Verka Serduchka's "Gulyanochka," which includes the verse, "Ukraine has not died yet if we walk like this." 

It's not the first time Russian-appointed authorities in Crimea have persecuted residents for listening to Serduchka's music. In 2022, residents in Yalta were listening to "Gulyanochka" when police fined them and forced a woman in the group to record an apology in tears. The head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, has threatened to hold criminally liable anyone who "chanted Ukrainian slogans at public events, singing songs [and] nationalist hymns."

In the apology video published by the Crimean Police, the three women do not look at the camera while singing, as they are clearly reading a prepared text.

Listen to Gulyanochka

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