Ukraine strips Yuri Bashmet of professorship

Ukraine strips Yuri Bashmet of professorship


norman lebrecht

March 13, 2014

The viola player and conductor has been punished by the Ukraine for signing a manifesto in support of Vladimir Putin’s actin on Crimea. His title as honorary professor of the Lviv conservatory has been withdrawn. Bashmet grew up in Lviv and graduated from its music school.




  • Christy says:

    Very good. He publicly supported an enemy in time of war, an enemy that has “disappeared” two journalists, four activists, and today sent thugs to kill at least two in Donetsk. He is free to move to Russia.

  • MacroV says:

    Well, there have to be consequences for actions.

    BTW, Ukrainians and others will thank you to refrain from saying “the Ukraine.” That’s a relic of when it was a province of another country. As a sovereign state, just “Ukraine” is generally preferred.

    • sdReader says:

      No, that is linguistic. Nothing to do with status as province.

      Japan, Peru, Canada, Argentina and many other nations take the article in Western European languages. Vive la France?

      The Netherlands, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, the U.K. and the U.S. do in English, albeit for a different reason.

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    GOOD. If I am not mistaken he makes a lot of his living from the free world.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    One guy voted against… Imagine how his career will move from now on…

  • ed says:

    Should anyone be surprised, especially if he was right?

  • Dennis Marks says:

    Lviv, with its Polish and Austrian past and its Uniat faith, has always been a centre of Ukrainian nationalism. I recorded nationalist songs in the central square long before the Orange revolution and Lviv was one of the major flashpoints in 2004. So it isn’t surprising that they are anti-Russian and opposed to Putin’s policy in Crimea. It’s a bit vindictive to take it out on Bashmet but he’s as entitled as anyone to comment on current Russian policy. It’s a complex issue and there’s too much ill informed hot air being blown into Ukraine from the west, particularly from neo-cons in the USA who can’t even locate Ukraine on the map.

    • Christy says:

      Not much complicated about an invasion from another country. Very clear, really. One country is using force to attempt to change another country’s borders. In the process a myriad of people have gone missing. Very, very simple.

      • ed says:

        Your analysis is simplistic indeed, especially when you ignore the putsch with all of them thugs and snipers who overthrew a democratically elected President by unconstitutional means after he cut a better deal with the Russkies than the West was ready, willing and able to offer to Ukraine. Yes, very, very simplistic, with so many ways international law was violated.

        Anyway, don’t you remember “R2P”, that much vaunted doctrine of international law created by the US and NATO to short circuit the UN Charter, eviscerate civil society in Libya (which in case you didn’t know, had the highest standard of living in Africa), and create chaos in Syria so that they could attack it directly instead of using goons to do it? Well, there it is front and center: R2Pee, except now the West is whining that the protector is evil and the people he’s going in to protect don’t deserve protecting.

        • Rimma says:

          I think Ukraine might follow steps of Cultural Revolution in China. Bashmet was acknowledged as a great musician graduate of Lvov’s musical boarding school

          • Gonout Backson says:

            Your analogy is overwhelming: they don’t want to hear a musician who has officially approved the invasion of their country – yes, only maoists can do that, indeed.

          • Irene says:

            He may be a great musical graduate of the Lviv Conservatory but it’s obvious whose puppet he is now and also that he has no backbone to speak up on behalf of his fellow countrymen and musicians who do not wish to be under Russian domination. Shame on him!!!

        • Christy says:

          @ed Typical Putinism. Take what Putin and his cronies did and then say the other side did it. Well done. Goebbels would be proud. Luckily, however, after centuries of dealing with people like Goebbels and Stalin, Ukrainians aren’t falling for that shtick. Well, perhaps unluckily for them, since their ability to understand completely what Putin is doing and has done is likely why they’re in this predicament.

          The fact is very clear: Russia has invaded Crimea, which is a legal part of Ukraine. This is an act of war. As such, Ukraine has the right to defend itself in any way, including by banning those who provide aid and comfort to the enemy.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      You’re right, he’s absolutely entitled to his opinions. But actions have consequences. This is one of them, and he should be ready to accept it.

  • Hasbeen says:

    Dennis, well said. The biased and ill informed reporting in America is outrageous.

  • Daria M says:

    If he (& the others) had not signed, a LONG stay in a psychiatric hospital most likely awaited him.

    Putin = Stalin

  • Irene says:

    Yuri Bashmet does not deserve any honors and the Lviv Conservatory did the correct thing by stripping his honorary title. And to Dennis Marks–there is nothing complicated about Ukrainians wanting to be free of Russian domination. Ukraine is a separate country and does not need to be dictated to by Russia. The Ukrainian people have suffered long enough and its time for Russia to GET OUT and STAY out of Ukraine and Ukrainian politics. I speak as someone who is of Ukrainian descent with many relatives still living there. I have first hand knowledge of what went on there as well as what continues to go on there. Let’s also not forget that Putin was a KGB member and a ruthless Communist form the very beginning. That’s a very dangerous thing and a fact not to be forgotten, ever!

  • Christy says:

    Russia imposes sanctions on Lithuania for supporting Ukraine. This is not going to end with Crimea.

    • sdReader says:

      It is surely not going to end with Crimea. He will want at least those southeast counties of Ukraine, rolling in the tanks when the ethnic violence escalates.

      If he goes further, such as moving against the Baltics, we will all be in trouble. But my guess is, the Lithuania sanctions are just reciprocation for our sanctions against Russia.