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Benefit Concert for Music Critic Goes Ahead

Organizers of a free rock concert to support besieged music critic Artemy Troisky have managed to book a new venue after being banished from the Central House of Artists, possibly under pressure from authorities.

The concert, scheduled to take place Friday in the Central House of Artists, will instead be held on the same day in the club Hleb on Zvenigorodskoye Shosse in downtown Moscow, musician Vasily Shumov, who is in charge of the show, said on his web site late Sunday.

The lineup is headed by rock legend Yury Shevchuk of DDT. Also participating are Shumov's group Tsentr, Barto, Otzvuki Mu and eight others. The show starts at 6 p.m.

Management for the Central House of Artists canceled the show last week, citing an influx of phone complaints. Troitsky said the cancellation was actually ordered by unidentified officials as punishment for his anti-Kremlin stance.

Troitsky, 55, is fighting three defamation cases, including one filed by former traffic police officer Nikolai Khovansky and two by rocker Vadim Samoilov.

Troitsky declared Khovansky the worst cop of the year at a November event. Khovansky, who investigated a car crash involving LUKoil vice president Vladimir Barkov that killed two, sparked a public uproar when he blamed the accident on the victims. Khovansky earlier won 130,000 rubles ($4,600) in damages but is now seeking criminal charges against Troitsky.

Samoilov's lawsuits are in response to televised comments by Troitsky that Samoilov was "Surkov's poodle," in a reference to the rocker's ties to Kremlin deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov.

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