Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Workers Rap Against Sanctions, Protest at U.S. Envoy’s Residence

YouTube

Factory workers from U.S. sanctions-hit van maker GAZ performed an anti-sanctions rap song and staged a picket outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during its July Fourth celebration.

Workers from GAZ’s Yaroslavl factory had this week filmed a music video for the anti-sanctions song, which uses the beat from rapper Coolio’s 1990s hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.” In the song, the workers plead: “Is there anyone who will hear us? Save GAZ! Come to the rescue of the working class. Save GAZ!”

On July Fourth, 50 people rallied on behalf of GAZ Group’s 40,000-strong workforce in front of Spaso House, the U.S. ambassador's residence in Moscow.

“On this day, we call on you not to deprive us, Russian workers, of the right to independence, right to work and to grow professionally and the right to a future,” they wrote in a petition to Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

“If the sanctions come in full force, we will lose our foreign suppliers. This will bring production lines to a stop leaving us jobless,” they said. 

Tycoon Oleg Deripaska and his van maker GAZ were slapped with sanctions over his alleged connection to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other “malign activities.”

Earlier this year, GAZ asked the government for a 30 billion ruble ($468 million) bailout because it claimed the sanctions could slash production by almost 40 percent in the second half of 2019.

The U.S. Treasury has given investors until Nov. 8 to divest from GAZ, meaning Deripaska could lower his stake and allow the company to be removed from the sanctions list.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.