Lisa Batiasvili: My country is occupied by Russia

Lisa Batiasvili: My country is occupied by Russia


norman lebrecht

February 27, 2018

The Georgian violinist, playing this week with the Sydney Symphony, is keeping up her political rhetoric:

‘My country has been occupied by Russia in two regions and is still occupied,’ Batiashvili said in Sydney yesterday.

‘For me it is a painful thing; I just cannot accept this. The Soviet Union is not in existence but for Russia it is difficult to accept that these countries are independent.’

Read on here.



  • Manu says:

    Yeah, but she still prefers the very Georgian city of Munic in Bavaria to make this “serious” comments. If you are committed to Georgia, go and live there!

    • buxtehude says:

      Chopin stood up for Polish independence from Paris, Brahms the German nationalist based himself in Austrian Vienna, Martinu addressed fellow Czechs from Paris, New York, Rome, Nice, northern Switzerland — why doesn’t Lisa merit residence based on professional convenience, in your book?

      • MacroV says:

        Casals refused to go to Franco’s Spain, and of course Rostropovich was one of many Russians who criticized the Soviet government from abroad (though he was kicked out).

  • Anon says:

    Why does she make herself a tool for such cheap political propaganda?
    It’s a bit more complicated than what she says.
    Abkhazians and (South) Ossetians do not want to be part of Georgia and historically have been independent at times.
    Does she also think the Kurds do not deserve independence from Turkey?
    Does she support the Serbian side in calling the break up of Kosovo from Serbia an illegal act?
    Does she disagree with the Baltic republics having regained independence from Russia?
    I guess she does because she thinks logically and constistently…

    • MacroV says:

      Apples and oranges. Georgia and the Baltics became sovereign nations after the fall of the USSR (and the Baltics were sovereign before Russia annexed them). Russia took back those two territories by force and sham plebescites, which is not acceptable in our modern international order.

      No foreign country has entered Turkey in order to annex the Kurdish part on their behalf.

      The Serbs committed war crimes in Kosovo, which kind of delegitimized any claim they might have to it.

      • Anon says:

        Apples and oranges and cucumbers and avocados and…
        Abkhazia was a sovereign nation before too.
        Sham plebiscites are not acceptable in our modern international order? Brexit is not acceptable then? And what a sham it is…
        Now if Georgia wasn’t exactly an outpost to US and Israeli interests, as it was made under that President who was raised for the office in the US, maybe Russia and Georgia would have friendlier relationships? Who’s interest was it, to instigate unrest in Georgia (a pattern we also see in Ukraine)? Russia’s? Or the usual pattern the US uses to tease and weaken the ‘Russian bear’ ?

        Simplistic black and white world views like Lisa Batiashvili’s ‘bad evil oppressor Russians, good victim Georgians’ always fail to differentiate the reality sufficiently for constructive solutions.

        The Kurds get lots of support from other foreign countries. Of course the US can’t exactly enter Turkey, since Turkey is a NATO ally. It’s complicated…
        Both Serbs and Kosovo Albanians committed war crimes, so both sides are then delegitimized according to your ‘logic’.

    • almaviva says:

      Hmmm…Have you ever heard of Chechnya?

      • Anon says:

        I have and I see your point. But the Chechnian break away forces were very much a force supported by the infamous ‘Saudi Foundations’ and made up of foreign Islamist mercenaries. The Reagan saying comes to mind: “One sides terrorists are the other sides freedom fighters.”
        Do we enlightened and civilized humans really want to support an insurgence, which committed terrorist acts, took innocent people in hospitals and theaters in Russia as hostages and killed many of them?

  • esfir ross says:

    Lisa, shut-up and play! Now, how many Russian conductors want to play with you? You cut yourself of a lot of concert opportunities. You’re ignorant on geopolitic.

  • Father Hennepin says:

    Georgia is a very small country, and for some ethnic minorities to have demanded independence for their tiny regions and get it because Russia was there to bully Georgia is NO justification for your comments. She is right to speak up, and often. Georgia’s most visible products are its musicians and athletes.