October 04, 2023

Where Is Polina Gagarina?


Where Is Polina Gagarina?
Pro-government rally "One Country, One Family, One Russia." Katerinich Jan, Twitter.

On September 29, the Russian government held a rally and concert on Red Square to commemorate the illegal annexation of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Lugansk following their capture in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. An independent journalist from Bereg infiltrated the event, called "One Country, One Family, One Russia," and shared his experience.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who regularly gives speeches at these rallies, was notably absent. Furthermore, TV channels mostly ignored the pro-government rally, including Channel One RussiaRussia 1, and NTV

Even though the event was only for state employees and students, security guards barely checked tickets and did not inspect bags despite constant beeps from metal detectors. Security inspections at other rallies can form lines lasting up to half an hour, but Bereg's journalist was able to access the square in a few minutes.

Most of the 65,000 attendees were young adults. Bereg's journalist overheard one girl say, "I prefer to be in school right now, God, I want to study algebra." Ostorozhno, Moskva (Attention, Moscow) reported that the Moscow State Medical and Dental University offered students extra credit in exchange for attending the rally as a "volunteer activity."

Advertisements for the event promised that Polina Gagarina, a singer and judge on The Voice (or Russia's version of it, at least), as well as performer Dima Bilan, among others. However, even as spectators asked, "Where is Polina Gagrina?" Moskva Online revealed that half of the artists mentioned in the Kremlin's roster would not be at the event. Instead of songs to dance to, the crowd received performances from pro-war "Z poets."

During the last song, the performance of the Russian national anthem, many attendees headed towards the exit before the song concluded. Yet, as Bereg points out, Nikolavskaya Street was flooded with the chants "I'm Russian! In spite of the whole world!"

You Might Also Like

A Video Song-Apology
  • August 16, 2023

A Video Song-Apology

Three waterpark employees in Crimea were fined and forced to sing "Vladimir Putin is Great" after dancing to a Ukrainian song.
Street Musicians Killed by Missile
  • August 17, 2023

Street Musicians Killed by Missile

Two musicians were performing on the streets of Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. An hour later, a Russian missile strike killed them.
Not-Russia Does Great Figure Skating
  • April 25, 2021

Not-Russia Does Great Figure Skating

The non-doping "Russia" won three out of four events at the recent world figure skating championships and swept the ladies' podium.
Too Hot for Kazakhstan
  • November 22, 2022

Too Hot for Kazakhstan

A Russian singer's Almaty concert was canceled due to her vocal support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar (bilingual)

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar (bilingual)

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955