Artist who signed Putin support letter is long dead

Artist who signed Putin support letter is long dead


norman lebrecht

March 19, 2014

In a fresh sign of Kremlin neo-Stalinism, it has been noticed that one of the leading cultural personalities who supposedly signed a support letter for Putin Crimea policy is, in fact, dead. The artist Victor Tsigal passed away in 2005. His brother Vladimir, who shared his initials V. E., died last year.

The discrepancy was spotted by Perm gallery owner, Marat Guelman and reported on twitter.

Three other names that originally appeared on the list – currently 511 signatories – have been mysteriously removed.

The Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, whose name still appears, has told Russian media that he knows nothing about it.

Russian President Putin presents a Hero of Labour award to Mariinsky theatre director Gergiev during an awards ceremony in St. Petersburg


  • Dead men do tell tales, sometimes outright porkies.

  • V.Lind says:

    It’s all so juvenile. Or would be if it were not so deadly dangerous.

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Chicago-style politics.

    • ed says:

      Actually, Greg is right. This is not something unique, and he’s probably still apoplectic that Kennedy stole the election from Nixon in 1960, though in the present case it would be good to inquire a bit further before concluding the worst. Regardless, it would be ludicrous to suggest that this delegitimizes the Crimean referendum, which was a fair election with an overwhelming result

      Putin- and the Chinese- have been consistent proponents of a more traditionalist approach to international law- namely, through reliance on the UN Charter and UN institutions, and the various network of international treaties and agreements, while the U.S. has pushed the envelope with R2P and humanitarian intervention. Putin in the present case is applying both the traditionalist and what the U.S. has attempted in Kosovo and elsewhere, except that here it is grounded on a better set of facts. (After trampling on the sovereignty of other countries and initiating war after war, the West is now screaming about violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and breaches of Russia’s agreements with it, but if one reads the text of the documents carefully, and in the context of the underlying history of the region and diplomatic relations of the parties, the evidence is overwhelming that the West breached all of this in Ukraine, and did it first, and did it egregiously.)

      For those whose minds are not made up, it would be helpful to listen to Putin’s speech yesterday (which can accessed at the Washington Post website and at a number of others) and/or read the English language text of the speech at: (The original Russian is at: ) I’d also recommend listening to a seminal speech he delivered in 2007 at the 43rd Munich Security Conference. It is on Youtube at: Would that the U.S. and NATO take heed and learn something. It articulates an approach to international relations and mutual security that is antiwar and eminently sensible.

      • ed says:

        By the way, Greg, you know that I was only needling you with my initial comment (unless you really were apoplectic). While we usually disagree, your comments often show that you’ve taken the trouble to research your facts (even if you frequently come to the wrong conclusion).

  • Some things never change. These sorts of acts only perpetuate the “unethical Russian” stereotype.

    • ed says:

      Unfortunately, we’ve seen elections highjacked or stolen in the U.S., so let’s put aside this Kremlin stereotype stuff. Remember Florida and those famous chads to hang yourself by in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election? Or Romney’s hapless attempt to wire the voting machines- the ones that Diebold designed and built to lack a paper trail? Or the Obama team’s bussing of Chicago voters (live ones this time) to swing the 2012 election in Wisconsin? Greg was right about Chicago, which has built a reputation (and its storied political machine) on the votes of the dead, but unfortunately, this type of thing has happened everywhere, especially in Ukraine with ‘our’ thugs and crooks now in power, who couldn’t care less about electoral politics.

      • John says:

        Putin should get in touch with you to sign his undoubtedly ‘valid’ support letters instead of all these dead guys.

        Just sayin….

        • ed says:

          C’mon John, he had the support in the referendum where it counted. As for the letters, I’d like to check them more carefully first. before declaring that the guy with the initials was the same as a dead one.

          (I can’t read or write Russian, so just leave me to do it in the Bronx where I don’t have to be careful about grammar. By the way, which politico did were you asking my doppelganger to endorse?)

  • ruben greenberg says:

    It is time to reread Gogol’s “Dead Souls”.

  • m2n2k says:

    Just a reminder to ed and others: this particular post is not about any elections but about the kind of blatant lies that have been most egregiously perpetrated, rather shamelessly and with cynical regularity, during the seven decades of Soviet Union’s history. Give VP the credit he deserves – he is becoming increasingly successful in turning his country back toward its totalitarian nightmare while pursuing his main goal of restoring much of the empire, by any means necessary whenever they are available to him.

    • Anonymus says:

      The Russians – at least most of them – like Putin and what he has done to the country. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia disintegrated under Jelzin, anarchy an looting of its resources prevailed. Putin stopped at least that and reconsolidated the country and its civil foundations, no easy task… Sure Russia is no democracy, more an autocracy and oligarchy. But the US is a plutocracy and also not a democracy. But the bread and circuses are nicer in the US I must say. Not so much the classical music scene I must admit though.

      Now if Putin could somehow have a paper currency like the dollar that he could force the rest of the world to accept as legal tender, then he might actually make Russia a super power again. 😉

      And Coca-Cola…

      • Gonout Backson says:

        It’s actually quite simple: go to your nearest mall. Count the “Made in China”s, and then the “Made in Russia”s.

        There you are.

        • Anonymus says:

          OK. And? I’m not in the US. We didn’t make the mistake here of canceling our ability to actually produce stuff for the sake of the upper 1%. What’s your point again?

      • m2n2k says:

        It is true that most Russians do like what their Great Leader is doing and for their country that fact is the worst tragedy of all.

        • Anonymus says:

          I’m torn which one is worse. A populace that identifies with a strong autocratic leader (like in Russia), or a populace that is mentally retarded and ignorant to what their political leadership is doing (like in the US).

    • ed says:

      Why not do your research first so you won’t have to fall in the trap of equating the Soviet Union with Putin’s Russia.