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Band Booed Over United Russia Link

Veteran rock band Mashina Vremeni was met with a chorus of boos at a concert in the Siberian town of Kemerovo last week when the presenter announced that the show was sponsored by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

video posted on YouTube showed that part of the audience began howling and whistling disappointedly at the presenter's declaration at Thursday's concert, followed by the appearance of two senior regional officials, both United Russia members.

One angry fan demanded his money back, while another shouted to deputy regional governor Anton Sibel "Go home!" and "Off with you!"

The video showed a confused Sibel respond, "What the hell is that?" and back away from the microphone.

The crowd calmed down a bit when Larisa Zauervain, head of the culture department of the local city hall, decorated the band members with silver medals for their contributions to Russian culture.

The band later posted a statement on its web site, saying the presenter "lied" when claiming that the show had been paid for by United Russia.

Last fall, Mashina Vremeni lead singer Andrei Makarevich was accused by bloggers of loyalty to the Kremlin after meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev with other musicians and failing to ask him serious questions.

In October, Makarevich wrote and posted a song on YouTube mocking imaginary rural residents who prepared their village for the country's leadership visit by getting rid of homeless and manure in the streets and dressing school children as members of a pro-Kremlin youth group.

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