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Russian Police Disrupt Recital Featuring Ukrainian Composer


Moscow police halted a piano recital featuring a well-known Ukrainian composer’s music Wednesday after receiving an anonymous bomb threat warning.

Video from the Rassvet cultural center shows two uniformed officers disrupting Russian pianist Alexei Lyubimov’s performance of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s song cycle “Stufen” accompanied by verses of classic Russian poets.  

Lyubimov continues to play a song by Austrian composer Franz Schubert as the policemen make gestures to the audience. Once Lyubimov finishes playing, the audience’s applause drowns out the policemen's words. 

The concert was then stopped and the building evacuated as police searched the premesis for bombs for two and a half hours due to an anonymous bomb threat, a Rassvet staffer told The Moscow Times.  

“We waited for the dogs, then the dogs checked the space, everything dragged on until 12:30 a.m.,” the employee said. 

The Rassvet employee speculated that the police’s arrival “may be related to the nationality of the composer” whose works were performed in the first section of the concert.

Russians have been detained for displaying Ukrainian flags and symbols since Moscow launched its “special military operation” on Feb. 24. Some have been detained while carrying balloons or wearing nail polish with the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag.

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