Oxxxymiron, Russian Rapper, Delivers Banned Anti-War Message to Istanbul

ISTANBUL – Just a month ago it would have been an innocuous scene in Moscow: Oxxxymiron, one of Russia’s most famous rappers, performed his latest songs on stage with a banner behind him that read: “Russians Against War”.

But after President Vladimir V. Putin decided to invade Ukraine, what was once typical for the rapper, known for his political slogan, quickly became impossible.

On Tuesday, instead of playing one of six long-awaited, sold-out arena shows in Moscow and St. hopefully everyone in Russia will watch and contribute. He promised that all proceeds, including ticket sales, would help more than three million Ukrainian refugees who had fled Russian aggression.

A crowd of Russians, many of whom were leave their country Over the past three weeks, fearing Putin’s tightening grip on oppression, has filled a club in Istanbul’s trendy Kadıköy district, chanting “No war!” and “Glory to Ukraine!” – slogans can now get them jailed at home.

Oxxxymiron, also known as Miron Fyodorov, said: “Millions of people in Russia are against this war.

“I hate feeling so helpless, but I fully understand that what we are doing today is the absolute bare minimum,” he said during the concert. “This is important not only for Ukraine but also for Russia, which we could lose.”

Thanks internet, rap became a genre that has dominated Russian popular culture for the past few years, with new stars defying the government’s preferred aesthetics and values. At one point, the Kremlin, worried it might lose the allegiance of young Russians, put pressure on some of the most outspoken rap artists and Turn off concerts.

Oxxxymiron is a pioneer in the movement and a symbol of the post-Soviet generation of globalizing Russians. After growing up in Russia and Germany, and earning a university degree at Oxford, he returned to his hometown of St.Petersburg and quickly became an international ambassador of Russian rap music.

Oxxxymiron can now be considered one of the old squires of Russian rap, but his feelings about the war are still shared by many Russian artists in many genres. Many of them started their careers in Ukraine before moving to Russia or actively touring Ukraine, building a fan base there.

After Valery Meladze, a pop singer who regularly appeared on state channels, called In order for the war to end as soon as possible, he was quick remove from several music channels in Russia, along with pro-Ukrainian and Ukrainian artists.

Rapper Face says he has fled Russia and is “in fact” no longer an artist or a Russian citizen.

“I have no intention of going back to Russia to pay taxes there,” said Face, also known as Ivan Dryomin, wrote on Instagram. “Our state has forced me and my loved ones to leave our home, our land.”

Not all Russian rappers oppose the invasion. Timati, who has supported Putin and is praised by him, argues that the war in Ukraine “is a coercive measure by the country’s leadership”.

“I love Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” said Timati, also known as Timur Yunusov, speak in a social media post. “I’m very sorry that we were shoved together and we couldn’t find a compromise.”

Outside the Istanbul club, where Oxxxymiron performed, people said they were still digesting the shock of Russia’s attack on what many see as a “brother nation”. Millions of Russians have relatives in Ukraine, and many worked, studied or spent part of their childhood there.

“I feel completely helpless and angry because of what is happening, that you cannot influence anything,” said Natalia, 32, an IT engineer from Belarus, in her home country. “accomplices in this war”.

“I don’t understand how anyone can support it,” said Natalia, who declined to give her last name, fearing the consequences for loved ones back home.

Many Russians present at the concert said they felt personally responsible for what was happening in Ukraine. At the same time, a common refrain is that they have been powerless to change the political course of their country.

Anna, an art historian from St.Petersburg, said she has opposed Putin’s rule for many years. She said she had to flee Russia after a criminal case was opened against a friend.

“I don’t feel guilty personally, but I’m ashamed of my situation,” said Anna, 26, who declined to give her last name because she has family in Russia. “I fought against the regime, my friends fought against it, but in the end we were here or in prison.”

Others argue that the Russians are too preoccupied with their day-to-day problems to try to change the political situation.

Yevgeny Yankovoy, 46, said: “We are always trying to adapt – even now, we are fleeing the country and settling here, while the war in Ukraine is going on and people are dying there. ,” Yevgeny Yankovoy, 46 years old.

He was standing outside the club, holding a poster that read: “We have allowed this fight to happen. We are too busy now.”

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