Support The Moscow Times!

Legendary Soviet Crooner and Lawmaker Iosif Kobzon Dies

Iosif Kobzon (Yelena Nikitchenko / TASS)

Iosif Kobzon, the legendary Soviet crooner who served in the Russian State Duma in his later years, died at the age of 80 on Thursday after a 13-year battle with prostate cancer.

Known as Russia’s Frank Sinatra, Kobzon won widespread fame for performing the theme songs of the classic 1973 television spy series “17 Moments of Spring.”

Kobzon became a controversial figure as a Duma lawmaker for his support of the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and other pro-Kremlin stances. He has been barred entry to the United States since 1995 when his visa was revoked on suspected mafia ties.

In 2015, the European Union blacklisted Kobzon for visiting the war-ravaged region of eastern Ukraine where he was born and expressing support for pro-Russian separatists.

The Duma hailed Kobzon for his “inexhaustible energy and efficiency.”

“As a deputy, he earned the trust and love of the people thanks to his sensitivity toward their problems and a desire to help,” the lower chamber of parliament said in an obituary.

Kobzon is survived by his wife, a son and daughter, and 10 grandchildren.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more