Russian troops kill Ukrainian musician for refusing role in Kherson concert

By | October 16, 2022

The Guardian reports:

Russian soldiers have shot dead a Ukrainian musician in his home after he refused to take part in a concert in occupied Kherson, according to the culture ministry in Kyiv.

Conductor Yuriy Kerpatenko declined to take part in a concert “intended by the occupiers to demonstrate the so-called ‘improvement of peaceful life’ in Kherson”, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The concert on 1 October was intended to feature the Gileya chamber orchestra, of which Kerpatenko was the principal conductor, but he “categorically refused to cooperate with the occupants”, the statement said.

Kerpatenko, who was also the principal conductor of Kherson’s Mykola Kulish Music and Drama Theatre, had been posting defiant messages on his Facebook page until May.

The Kherson regional prosecutor’s office in Ukraine has launched a formal investigation “on the basis of violations of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder”. Family members outside Kherson lost contact with the conductor in September, it said.

Condemnation by Ukrainian and international artists was swift. “The history of Russia imposing a ‘comply or die’ policy against artists is nothing new. It has a history which spans for hundred of years,” said the Finnish-Ukrainian conductor Dalia Stasevska, who was scheduled to conduct the Last Night of the Proms at London’s Albert Hall last month before it was cancelled because of the Queen’s death.

“I have seen too much silence from Russian colleagues,” she said. “Would this be the time for Russian musicians, especially those living and working abroad, to finally step up and take a stand against the Russian regime’s actions in Ukraine?” [Continue reading…]

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