A Ukrainian conductor rejects the Russian perspective

Kirill Karabits, principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, has been talking to the London Times, which is a subscriber-only site. Here’s a sampling:

Kirill Karabits conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra


My mother and sister live in the centre of Kiev and now I’ve been watching what’s happening there almost 24 hours a day on television. I never imagined that one day things would go so far that people would be killing each other in the central square of my capital city.

From what I’m hearing, everyone is fed up. It’s corruption on all levels in daily life, from being stopped by policemen in your car to trying to get any money from the Government for any project — and I know plenty about that. People cannot go on like this: it’s a protest against the whole system.

I was in Russia in December performing at the Bolshoi Theatre and I heard on the news that they were calling the protesters [in Kiev] extremists — they called these students “trained terrorists”! Of course Russia has been trying to suppress these protests. I feel very close to Russia — I’m a Russian speaker from childhood and I’m at home there — but I absolutely disagree with its behaviour towards Ukraine…

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  • My guess is that the system of corruption will continue and the oligarchs will remain, whether or not Ukraine as a whole has or does not have a close relationship with Russia. Now it will be the U.S.’s and EU’s problem, except for the region in the East which is more prosperous and will fight if necessary to retain its trade and political ties with Russia. There is no reason right now to think the Western part of Ukraine won’t feel pain under the EU and IMF similar to that which Greece and the rest of Southern Europe have been feeling. If there are no results under the EU watch, expect more unrest, including from those neo-nazi and homophobic nationalist parties that were inciting violence in Kiev.

  • “expect more unrest, including from those neo-nazi and homophobic nationalist parties that were inciting violence in Kiev.”

    Come on, don’t be so precise. They are our friends now. Our enemy’s enemy is our friend, don’t you remember? Like Bin Laden, or the death squads in Latin America, etc. etc.

    Russia is the big evil. Booga booga. Tchum Tchum.

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