Russia bans anti-Putin rocker's concerts: singer
SAINT PETERSBURG - Agence France-Presse
AP photoYury Shevchuk, lead singer of the Russian rock band DDT and a fierce Vladimir Putin critic, said Wednesday the authorities had banned several of his concerts even though tickets sold out.
Shevchuk, one of the most charismatic figures in the opposition movement who has publicly clashed with the president-elect, said that local authorities had unexpectedly cancelled concerts in the Siberian cities of Kemerovo and Yurga.
In two other Siberian cities, Tyumen and Omsk, the band was not allowed to perform on various pretexts, he said.
"Friends! The Kemerovo regional administration cancelled our concerts on its territory, even though the tickets were practically sold out in Kemerovo and Yurga," Shevchuk said in a statement late Tuesday.
"Apparently our new programme did not have enough 'patriotic erotica,'" said Shevchuk, who is famous for his dry, sarcastic style.
The authorities in the oil-producing city of Tyumen said they could not find a venue for the band, he complained, while in Omsk "some local minister also forbade concert halls to put on our 'daring show.'" The rocker lamented that the group would not be able to sue the officials because all the orders had been given by phone, making it impossible to prove anything in a court of law.
"We are not despondent, despondency is a sin," he added. "We believe that all the beefy herd of zealous champions of a 'rotten order' will soon disappear into the arms of a new future." The protest movement staged a series of unprecedented rallies in Moscow this winter but lost much of its momentum after strongman Vladimir Putin won a crushing victory in March presidential polls.
The opposition hopes however to muster another major protest in Moscow the day before Putin's Kremlin inauguration on May 7.