October 7, several groups of activists broke the concert of the Kharkiv musician Serhiy Babkin in Lviv. The actor and singer was accused of performing on tours in Russia and the Crimea, annexed by Russia, since 2014 when the war started.
The activists of Ukrainian patriotic organizations blocked the entrance to the Malevich club where the concert, which was sold out completely, was to take place and required that the artist admitted publicly that Russia is committing aggression towards Ukraine. Also, he was demanded to stop performing in Russia and on the occupied territories.
People who bought their tickets in advance were singing the popular songs by Babkin near the club and tried to break in. At the same time, the protesters were singing the songs of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The police prevented the brawl – a dozen of patrol police cars arrived at the site.
During the meeting and negotiations with the protesters which lasted for three hours, the musician avoided making any compelling statements about the war and his attitude to Russia saying that “the situation in the east of Ukraine is ambiguous.” Therefore the concert was canceled, the money for the tickets are returned today.
Later on his Facebook page, Serhiy Babkin stated that the blockade organizers did not want to reconcile, they “needed the conflict and fuss.” He stated that he loves Ukraine, but he is “beyond politics” and explained that he tours in Russia and the Crimea for those people who support Ukraine and disagree with the actions of the Russian government in Ukraine. Also, he explained that he gives a share of his fees to the Ukrainian Army defending Ukraine in ATO zone and he promotes Ukrainian culture, recording his music in Ukraine.
Babkin’s fans are now supporting their favorite singer on social networks pointing out that the blockers “were rude and aggressive” and the musician is bright and gifted.
However, most of the commentators responding to Babkin’s statement highlight that “it is not possible to stay beyond politics during the war” and to make money in the country which has been destroying Ukraine for the fourth year.
Reference: Babkin performed in occupied Crimea in 2014. In 2016 and 2017 the artist gave several concerts in Russia and toured Ukraine all the time without being blocked up.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: tvoemisto.tv, forpost.lviv.ua, Facebook