Going to give a free concert to support people of Donetsk, Ukraine seems like an honorable thing to do, however, let’s look at this closer:
1) Donetsk was among the first cities in the Eastern Ukraine to be attacked by armed Russian “rebels” which took over government buildings and installed a fake government with leaders imported from Russia. Currently the city is controlled by Russian criminal groups and “rebels” classified in Ukraine as terrorist groups, which are banned from entering a number of countries, including Canada.
People of Donetsk and other occupied cities and villages in the region have endured unimaginable atrocities with involvement of Russian military, financing and arms supply from Russia. Plenty of evidence is available with most recent reports from Vice News.
Just a week ago on June 15, 2015, over 500 people held an antiwar protest in Donetsk “calling on separatists to remove rocket launchers from residential neighborhoods where they provoke fire from government troops”. The protesters accused the “rebels” of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) of using civilians as human shields. They shouted: “You are hiding behind our backs!” “Shame!” and “Stop the War!”
2) After Toronto institutions cancelled her performances for appalling tweets incompatible with values the Canadian organizations promote, Ms. Lisitsa announced the concert in Donetsk following playing by the invitation behind closed doors at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Coincidence?
3) Lisitsa performs in Donetsk and the terrorists-supporting media are eager to report the comments by local residents and whom do they feature? Ms. Lisitsa is taking picture with Evgenij Poddubnyj (Евгений Поддубный), who is by no means Donetsk local people, he is a Russian citizen, born and raised in Belgorod, Russia and who works for Russia 24, Kremlin run channel in Russia, which is banned by Ukrainian authorities for spreading war propaganda. He is also well known for fabricating news about Syria and Ukraine. Obviously, he knows a lot about concerts in Donetsk and even about Toronto (that he mentions), which banned Lisitsa for spreading hatred and violence promoting tweets, not for “supporting people of Donbass” as Mr. Poddubnyj, a foreign journalist implicated in lying and spreading fake news in Donbass, suggests.
Hence, did Ms. Lisitsa go to Donetsk to support people of Donetsk or pose with Russian propagandists for terrorists and Kremlin-owned media?
The Kremlin-run media spinning Lisitsa PR in Donetsk obviously went into absolute frenzy featuring Lisitsa concert. Western admirers had something to say about it too.
Norman Lebrecht, a well-known British commentator on music and cultural affairs and a novelist, who previously spoke fondly of Lisitsa and her performances, had the following to say on June 24, 2015:
“Youtube’s favourite pianist has taken her vocal support for Russian dominance of the Ukraine two steps too far.
She has given a recital in Donetsk, so called capital of the illegal breakaway statelet, the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’.
She was pictured in the company of the rebels’ military leader, Alexander Zakharchenko, an alleged war criminal who is presently on crutches, recovering from a battlefield injury.
This meeting may well have repercussions on what remains of her international concert career.
With the following video posted of Ms. Lisitsa playing in Donetsk, he concluded: “It is a sad sight for millions around the world who appreciate her musicianship.”
The article and picture are published by Norman Lebrecht in Slipped Disc under the title Valentina Lisitsa is lost in Donetsk.