Ukraine Crisis: Russian Celebrities Speak Out Against Possible Invasion

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Protests in Ukraine

As tensions in the region escalate, rock stars and media personalities decry the possibility of Russian military action.

MOSCOW – Russian celebrities have spoken out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine amid escalating tensions between the two countries. Meanwhile, several Ukrainian media groups called on Russian TV stations to provide unbiased coverage of the situation to their viewers.

Veteran rock singer Yuri Shevchuk, a known supporter of the opposition movement in Russia, wrote a post on his blog calling on all parties involved “to do everything possible to avoid a fratricidal massacre.”

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Another respected rock star, Boris Grebenshchikov, published a similar message on his Facebook account.

Zemfira, arguably the most popular singer of the generation currently in their thirties, expressed her stand on the situation by removing all the tracks from her official website, except for one, a cover for a song by the Ukrainian band Okean Elzy, whose members took an active part in the recent ouster of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych. Incidentally, the band's St Petersburg show scheduled for late March could well be canceled, after conservative Russian politicians' recent calls to ban the band from touring Russia.

Joining his colleagues, singer and TV host Andrei Makarevich condemned the idea of Russian military action in Crimea, Ukraine's Black-Sea region with a predominantly Russian population.

“When tanks invade a country, ordinary people become patriots and take to the arms,” he said on the air of the FM station Ekho Moskvy. “Our task is to avoid that at any cost.”

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Meanwhile, several Ukrainian media giants have addressed Russia's biggest TV stations, asking them to provide unbiased coverage of events in Ukraine.

“We know that you, just like us, don't want war between two fraternal peoples,” reads an open letter sent to heads of the state-run stations Channel One, NTV and VGTRK and signed by heads of Inter Media Group, Starlight Media, 1+1 and Media Gruppa Ukraina.

“Each of us is a patriot of their country and we have a special responsibility at this difficult and explosive moment,” the statement adds.