A Russian state television pundit known for his pro-Kremlin views has proposed staging a multi-day rap festival in Crimea amid reports that the authorities are targeting outspoken young Russian rappers with concert closures and music bans over alleged extremism.
Dmitry Kiselyov, who has been called the Kremlin’s “top propagandist,” had unexpectedly spoken out in favor of Russian rappers on his popular Vesti Nedeli news show last Sunday. The show came in the wake of what young Russian rappers have called a government crackdown on freedom of expression.
In an appearance on the Govorit Moskva radio station on Thursday, Kiselyov said that he plans to hold a multi-day concert in the Crimean city of Koktebel, where he says has already been hosting a popular jazz festival for the past 16 years.
“Rap cannot be banned just as it is impossible to ban cursing. It is a cultural phenomenon.” he was cited as saying by Govorit Moskva. “This topic leaves me no other choice but to organize a rap festival.”
Kiselyov said that the concert would run from August 28 to August 30 at Koktebel’s nude beach.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.