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Crimea Wedding Party Arrested, Fined For Playing Ukrainian Patriotic Song

Andreas Ronningen / unsplash

Six people in Russian-annexed Crimea were arrested or fined for playing a popular Ukrainian patriotic song at a wedding reception, the RBC business daily reported Wednesday.

The wedding organizers and guests were accused of “promoting Nazi symbols” and “discrediting” the Russian Armed Forces after they played “Chervona Kalyna” at the reception held earlier this month. 

“Chervona Kalyna” — which has been performed in many renditions, one of which calls for Ukraine to be freed “from the Muscovite shackles” — has become an anthem of Ukrainian resistance in the months since the Kremlin invaded its pro-Western neighbor in February.

A court in the Crimean town of Bakhchisarai sentenced the owner of the wedding venue to an administrative arrest of 14 days.

The DJ and wedding dancer were sentenced to 10 days of arrest, while the groom’s mother was arrested for five days, the court ruling said.

Two other people were ordered to pay fines up to 50,000 rubles ($837).

The arrests come after Sergei Aksyonov, the Kremlin-appointed head of Crimea, this week warned people against “chanting pro-Ukrainian slogans” and “singing nationalist songs.”

Last month, a local DJ in Crimea was sentenced to 10 days of arrest for playing a Ukrainian song.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move not recognized by the international community.

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