A Russian pianist accepts responsibility for the war
This is what Alexander Melnikov is telling his audience tonight:
‘It’s hard to imagine anyone further away from politics than I am. I also hate all pre-concert speeches.
But this morning – which I can call the worst morning of my life – I had a knot in my stomach that would prevent me from going on stage unless I can position myself clearly in front of you. Therefore I ask for 2 minutes of your attention:
‘Our civilization is in bad shape. [….] However, we all have our ‘red lines’. The beginning of a war must be the reddest of all red lines for everyone.
‘Of course, it is normal to say that I or millions of other Russians have nothing to do with this war. True, I haven’t lived there for many years and I definitely never voted for Putin or his party. If anything, I’m furious with them for making me feel guilty about being Russian. A feeling that has been with me for as long as I can remember.
‘But that’s not how things work. I feel responsible for this war. Neither I nor my countrymen have done enough to stop it.
It’s happening now that we’re all sitting here in the concert hall. People are dying in a criminal war for no reason.
When I look at humanity, I am infinitely sad. Shouldn’t we fear for our very survival? If we don’t survive, we will also lose Bach, Leonardo, Einstein, Newton or Pushkin. I don’t understand why we allow people like Putin or Trump to do this to our civilization.’