Welsh ensemble defies international law to play in occupied Crimea

Welsh ensemble defies international law to play in occupied Crimea


norman lebrecht

August 24, 2018

The Ukraine Embassy in the UK has called out Brass Ensemble Wales for setting out on tour in parts of the country illegally ocupied by Russian fores.

The ensemble says it is performing in ‘a series of concerts across the peninsula, at Maykop, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Yalta, Feodosia, Kerch, Alushta and at the iconic Vorontsov Palace.’ Details here.

The Embassy says:

Common sense says: Don’t go there.


  • SVM says:

    Whether we like it or not, the fact is that the Crimea seceded decisively from the Ukraine in a free and fair referendum. The Ukraine should focus its energies on restoring peace and stability in the territory under its jurisdiction and on improving living standards, rather than persist in advancing claims over a majority-Russian-speaking territory (this was the case even during the half-a-dozen decades when it was part of the Ukraine) whose people have made their wishes abundantly clear (possibly in response to the aggressive legislation against the use/recognition of the Russian language just after the Ukraine’s /coup d’état/ in 2014). As for the question of international law, it is hypocritical of NATO and “the West” to speak of a violation of “territorial integrity” whilst recognising Kosovo.

    • Lev says:

      This is a new definition of “free” and “fare”. You shall write a new edition of Webster dictionary. Meanwhile, it would be advisable to get your facts right before commenting on topics you know nothing about. This is me being generous. Non-generous me would have asked how much are you being paid by Putin to spread his lies?

      • Frank says:

        I think you should rather get your facts together and stop spreading hate and animosity against the strongman Putin. Crimea has never been Ukraine and will never be.

      • Yulia Malisaki says:

        I’m from Crimea. All my family lives there. I guess this gives me some kind of “knowledge” on the topic, right? It’s easy to shut down someone who has a different opinion by just saying they have no knowledge of the subject. I’ve met people who have never been to Crimea, have no idea of the life there and somehow they were trying to persuade me that they know better…And of course me too, being paid personally by Putin !!! (I will just go and check my bank account after this post!) Don’t be ridiculous!!!
        I’m very happy to hear that initiatives like this music tour take place. And I hope many more will follow.

      • Tamino says:

        Lev, you make no sense. You sound only driven by hatred and ignorance.

    • Robert Groen says:

      Agree with you 100%. Anyway, whose decision is it to turn a musical site into a political forum?

    • Saxon Broken says:

      It is not really credible to claim that there was a “free and fair referendum” in the Crimea. But nevertheless, the population largely feels Russian (with some important minorities), and was dismayed with the more pro-western parts of the Ukraine. I don’t think it is particularly sensible to deny that secession was not popular with large parts of the population there.

  • esfir ross says:

    Cudos to Ensemble band of Wells. Have a successful tour and
    enjoy beauty and historical cultural region.

  • Andrew says:

    Crimea was stolen from Ukraine by Russian soldiers dressed in green uniforms like terrorists and the referendum was carried out with Russian soldiers “supervising “ the polling booths.
    Why are people in Crimea and Donbass under the “protection” of armed militia? It is reminiscent of “democratic” East Germany and North Korea.

  • william osborne says:

    Notable that similar sanctions were never applied to the illegal invasion and thus the de facto illegal occupation of Iraq by the USA. As with climate accords and other treaties, the USA has the motto, “The law applies to everyone but us.” An 800 pound gorilla making up the rules as it goes along…

    • MacroV says:

      I did not favor the invasion of Iraq, but I do not recall the United States annexing the country or making any complaint about the BWE tour. It’s the Ukrainian embassy – so easy on the “whatabouts.”

  • No hypocrisy says:

    Falklands is thousands of kilometers away from Britain yet we the British claimed it belong to us and invaded it. The same goes for Gibraltar. Russia reunites with Crimea which voted to join Russia and that demands sanctions.
    Most western countries particularly the US and Britain try to influence elections the world over. Personally,I dont see anything wrong with that.Every country wants a pro-government.
    What were the real reasons for overthrowing Saddam,Gaddafi and the latest attempt to overthrow Assad.Let’s stop being hypocritical about Russian meddling.They may have done it.But we all do.Obama’s administration hacked into Angela Meckel’s phone.Stop the hypocrisy.

    • MacroV says:

      Boy that’s a kitchen sink of bogus “whatabouts.” Britain had long claimed the Falklands as a territory; they didn’t invade, but responded when Argentina tried to take it back by force.

      Russia agreed in the 1994 Budapest Agreement that it would respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity (part of what encouraged Ukraine to give up its nukes). And the USSR made Crimea part of Ukraine; maybe it shouldn’t have but it did. So invading and taking it over was a flagrant violation of that 1994 commitment.

      You don’t get to take over a country by force, then hold an election at the point of a gun, and claim it’s reunification. Sheesh.

      • Tamino says:

        Have you ever talked to a few people on the Crimea? Sheesh, onviously not.

        Russia agreed in 1994, being given the promise there will be no eastward expansion of NATO. That promise was broken first by the US. Sheesh.