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Russian TV Comics’ Kazakh Tour Canceled After Visit to Occupied Ukraine

Azamat Musagaliev Social media

Organizers in Kazakhstan have canceled a popular Russian sketch comedy group’s tour following backlash over its visit to Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory, Kazakh media reported Thursday.

Kamyzyaki, veterans of Russia’s longest-running comedy television show KVN, performed and gave interviews last weekend at a World War II event in Donetsk, an eastern Ukrainian region partially controlled by Russian forces. 

Social media users accused Kamyzyaki of supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanded that the group scrap its shows in Kazakhstan scheduled for early October.

“In view of the high-profile negative feedback on the public actions of Kamyzyaki, the team of organizers has decided to completely cancel its tour in Kazakhstan,” organizer Olga Lee said on Instagram.

Kamyzyaki’s leader, Azamat Musagaliyev, is an ethnic Kazakh from southern Russia’s Astrakhan region.

Kazakhstan and its Central Asian neighbors have regularly canceled entertainment events involving pro-war figures since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. 

In Russia, a number of prominent cultural figures who publicly oppose the invasion of Ukraine while remaining in the country have faced backlash, canceled performances and fines. 

Kazakhstan has walked a diplomatic tightrope of maintaining friendly ties with Russia while staying neutral on the conflict.

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