Crocus City Hall in Moscow hosted on May 31 the award ceremony for the winners of one of the most famous Russian spring music awards, the RU.TV award. Despite the Russian aggression, annexation of Crimea by that country and it waging undeclared war on us, these Ukrainian performers were not only actively participating in such glamorous events in the occupying country, but also “gladly” received various showbiz awards there.
Thus, People’s Artist of Ukraine Ani Lorak received not one but two awards from RU.TV, for the Best Duet (jointly with Grigory Leps) and the Most Flamboyant Show. Another Ukrainian singer Anna Sedokova received a Golden Samovar for the Sexiest Video. Ukrainian group VIA Gra, for its part, won the Best Start contest. “Thank you very much. I am experiencing incredible happiness on receiving this award. I am very, very happy! We are ready to surprise you again and again... Everything is just beginning,” Lorak said during the presentation of the awards.
The fact that Ukrainian performers have received awards from the hands of people representing the occupying country has rightly provoked a barrage of negative criticism in social networks and the blogosphere. Ukrainians call for the musicians to be stripped of state awards and distinctions, or even their citizenship. Music critics are convinced that the issue is not just the moral wrongness of performers getting awards from the occupier, but lack of understanding for what they were rewarded. Presenting a variety of worldly honors to Ukrainian singers, writers and musicians is a strategic move, intended to show “the normal course of Ukrainian-Russian life.”
“Ukrainian performers can be divided into two categories: Russian hangers-on and prostitutes on the one hand, and the singers who have kept a sense of conscience and patriotism on the other,” music critic Oleksandr Yevtushenko commented for The Day. “Today, everyone, and especially cultural figures must have absolutely straight and clear position on the Russian aggression and war against Ukraine. The public should know that position and draw conclusions... Normal representatives of Ukrainian show business boycott performances in Russia, their various awards and parties. Moreover, they are totally against Russian singers’ concerts in Ukraine. How can we do otherwise when our country is at war? Russia is interested in the television picture, which shows supposed Ukrainian cultural figures continuing to live in peace with them and performing on their venues. This is absurd. Such shameful conduct should receive an unequivocal response. Ukrainian artists who allow themselves to be deceived by such invitations into participation in worldly life of Russia are revealing their true nature. We had to forget long ago that Ani Lorak was a Ukrainian singer. She is not one anymore. She is an imperial lackey who has long been exclusively serving the Kremlin.”
As depo.ua reported, besides Lorak, Sedokova, and the VIA Gra, Ukrainian singers Potap and Nastia Kamenskykh, Olia Poliakova, Vira Brezhnieva, and Yolka attended the Russian award ceremony. The congratulatory performance by Potap and Nastia looked especially cynical as they regaled the Russian public with song “We Have It Good.” The composition ended with the words: “...Thank God, we are alive and healthy, and so we have it good.” Upon completion of the song, pop singer Oleksii Potapenko, known for his outrageous antics, took off his pants and, standing on stage in underwear, said: “My official statement in the name of all Ukrainian artists is thank you, Russia, for still receiving us.” Just as Potap demeaned himself before the Russian audience, Russian-armed terrorists were once again firing on anti-terrorist operation forces near the city of Sloviansk, while another Crimean activist Seiran Zynedinov disappeared in Simferopol.
A VOICE FROM FACEBOOK
Natella Chanturidze: “The award ceremony of RU.TV was held in Moscow on May 31. They presented awards to Sedokova and Lorak... I despise these women who accept awards from the occupiers’ hands even as their compatriots are being killed. I oppose that saying that artists should be above politics... Teachers, engineers, miners, managers should not, so why should artists? By the way, Vakhtang Kikabidze refused to accept Russia’s honors when Russia invaded Georgia... As he said, he was not hurt, but rather disappointed... Kikabidze’s ‘disappointment’ felt more bitter than twisted Mallows, performed by Lorak.”