The war over Sergei Prokofiev

The war over Sergei Prokofiev


norman lebrecht

January 22, 2015

Latest reports from Donetsk say Ukrainian forces have been pushed back from Sergei Prokofiev international airport by Russian-backed ‘rebels’.

Both sides in this sordid conflict claim to value culture at the heart of nationhood.

Look what they have done to Prokofiev.


prokofiev airport


  • Mike Sommers says:

    Let us be fair and state the obvious: if you write “russian backed rebels” it should continue with “american backed ucrainian forces”…

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Do you know of any US forces on the ground?

      • janedoe says:

        That’s a specious objection. “Backed” is the operative word, which means money, military resources, specialist advice. In any case, US forces ARE on the ground in the Ukraine, but they are posing as “advisers”, and claim to have been officially invited by the Ukrainian government (i.e. the unelected one which violently overthrew the previous elected one.) The troops include the so-called “Blackwater” troops and those deployed under the “Rapid-Trident” exercise. All on record, Norman, and there are reports (not in mainstream Western press, of course) of their involvement in actual fighting…….

        • Joel V. says:

          Russia says: “We are not there, we have done nothing to do with it, you are hallucinating.”

          I feel history repeats itself. I am sick and tired of this rhetoric originating from the WWII era. Just one example: the Soviet surprise bombings of Helsinki in 1939. Note: without any declaration of war.

          U.S. President Roosevelt asked the Soviets not to bomb the Finnish cities. Molotov replied to Roosevelt: “Soviet aircraft have not been bombing cities, but airfields, you can’t see that from 8,000 kilometers away in America.”

          Question – Does the Helsinki historic centre look like an airfield….. ?
          You can decide for yourselves:

          Basically, Molotov was claiming that Roosevelt and the Americans were hallucinating.
          Today we don’t have Molotov, we have Lavrov. Soon we will start making “Lavrov cocktails”?

        • Gonout Backson says:

          Same old same old.

          “US forces ARE on the ground in the Ukraine, but they are posing as “advisers”, and claim to have been officially invited by the Ukrainian government (i.e. the unelected one which violently overthrew the previous elected one.)”

          It’s a lie, and a very old one.

          No government was “violently overthrown”. The elected president fled the country. In a situation of extreme urgency, provoked by the crimes of the said president, his own, elected and perfectly legal Parliament, named a temporary President and a government. These authorities organized two democratic elections since, a presidential and a parliamentary, elections even Putin recognized. If there are indeed the “US forces on the ground” (not a shred of proof about that, of course), they have been approved by these democratically elected authorities.

          As for the direct, military involvement of Russia, ask them :

          and ask them what “gruz 200” means.

      • Olaugh Turchev says:

        State Department Spokewoman Jen Psaki on January 21, 2015:
        “We’ve also seen reports that Russia moved two tactical battalions into Ukraine. I don’t have additional information or independent confirmation of that.”
        Obviously Slipped Disk has… No seriously.

        • Gonout Backson says:

          Dear Mr Turchev, I’m still waiting for the list of the “many Svoboda” ministers in the second Yatsenyuk government, since you seem to have sources I don’t.

          • Olaugh Turchev says:

            Ahhh the second Yatseniuk government… How about why so many in the first to start with? LOL

          • Gonout Backson says:

            Nothing on the second, then? I mean : the one issued from an open, democratic election even Mr Putin had to recognize? The one where there is not one minister from Svoboda, even if you pretended there were “many”?

            As for the first ? At your service : it’s because in the 2012 elections, under Yanukovych, Svoboda gained 10% and had 25 seats. Yanukovych’s party fell apart, and a coalition had to be made.

            You don’t always chose your allies, Mr Turchev, as Mr Roosevelt learned the hard way, concluding an alliance with and financing Hitler’s former ally.

          • Olaugh Turchev says:

            Because Yanoukovich election wasn’t?

          • Gonout Backson says:

            Since I have never pretended that, I suppose this is the only slappy repartee you have left.

            Yanukovich fled the country. His decision. Talk to him.

  • Maria Los says:

    Bottom line is Putin started this war in the first place; he’s responsible for all deaths, Ukrainian and Russian…..Putin used Yanukovich as an excuse to start something like this.