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

At the Circus

At the Circus

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.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
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.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.

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