Vladimir Putin took the stage at a Mariinsky concert, extolling the current Easter Festival and its director, Valery Gergiev.
He went on to thank orchestra members who played in Russian-held Palmyra.
This event , said Putin, ’caused an unprecedented emotional response around the world, it has become a symbol of hope, the victory of civilization over barbarism, culture and creation over chaos and destruction. … There, around Palmyra, fighting is still going on.’
Photo: Alexei Druzhinin