Putin pal sends EU a bloody hammer in a violin case

Putin pal sends EU a bloody hammer in a violin case


norman lebrecht

November 26, 2022

The Russian war criminal Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, has sent a bloodied sledgehammer in a violin case to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The delivery followed Wednesday’s vote by the Parliament declaring Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’.

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s reponse appears to confirm the veracity of that resolution. The musical reference remains obscure, unless it’s the old mafia method of murder.


  • Save the MET says:

    Waste of a good violin case.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    That’s pure “The Godfather” stuff.
    Some Putainist drama queen is having a good laugh over this, I’m sure.
    I’m also sure that Putain will eventually get what’s coming to him, as did other murderous dictators such as Hitler and Saddam.
    It’s just a matter of time for you, Vlad. Either the Ukrainians will get you or one of your own people will.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Are we sure it’s not a viola case?

    • Michael Reisman, Luthier says:

      Based on the comparison to the man’s arms it is a violin case. It is too shallow and narrow to hold a viola.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    The sledge hammer is ostensibly the one used in the widely-circulated internet video of the execution of a former Wagner Group recruit who had either surrendered to or been captured by the Ukrainians and then was somehow later recaptured by the Russians.

  • Lothario Hunter says:

    Oh yes, yes! This is beautiful symbolism of a benevolent, non violent nature! The message is clear: classical musicians and war crimes can coexist, because classical musicians operate outside the moral sphere!

    For example, a very famous conductor (Muti) has received an award (the Order of Friendship) by a head of state who is arguably a war crime perpetrator (Putin). Has the conductor made a statement to refuse it retroactively and return the award? Not to my knowledge, and why should he. Some malign or naive people (take your pic) insist he should return it. But he has proudly listed the award very prominently for more than a decade on his own official website and on the printed CSO program booklets (an SD reader had posted a link; see page 36 of this sleek booklet: https://issuu.com/chicagosymphony/docs/programbook_muti_cavalleria_rusticana). Returning the Russian Order of Friendship would be rude and hypocritical virtue signaling. Also, it is a rare award, who would be so foolish to give it away? Muti has earned it. It is ok to hide it, to not mention it anymore, so the public is not confused, but returning it – no, it is an entirely different matter.

    Or another example, a nation now declared by the EU a state sponsor of terrorism (Russia), with an official ceremony at its Vienna embassy, has bestowed on a famous conductor (sorry, Muti again, who gladly attended the ceremony in person, see picture here: https://newsrnd.com/life/2021-10-28-riccardo-muti-honorary-academic-of-russia.r1m3Ux_LF.html) the honor of becoming Honorary Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Arts. Has the conductor refused retroactively and returned the honor? Not to my knowledge, and why should he, again by the same argument.

    So classical musicians and war crimes can go along without too much fuss, just like a bloody hammer inside a violin case! Which was our thesis to begin with and what this beautiful symbol is all about.

    • Sam says:

      Good lord, give it a rest! We get it. You’re obsessed with Muti. You don’t need to being him into every single unrelated post. Crikey.

    • Hugo Preuß says:

      Somehow, every problem in the world can be related to Muti within two sentences.

      Here’s some food for thought: you are obviously obsessed with Muti, just like Chicagorat (unless that’s you as well). On the other hand, Muti probably doesn’t even know (or care) that you exist. Who wins in this exchange?

  • James says:

    Wagner Mercenaries having been using sledge hammers to kill people in Syria for many years. It is a popular device of terror by these animals. These hammers are also used in Ukraine and Georgia to kill their own ranks in cases of catching someone who surrendered or tries to run away from their commitment to the group.

  • JS says:

    From Wikipedia: “In November 1979, Prigozhin was given a suspended sentence for stealing (in Leningrad). In 1981, he was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment under articles of robbery, fraud, and involving teenagers in crime, but was pardoned in 1988, and was released in 1990.Prigozhin spent nine years in detention.”

  • JS says:

    Modern Russia establishment is made with either the KGB agents (like Putin himself) or common criminals (I recommend strongly lecture of Karen Dawisha’s “Putin’s kleptocracy”)
    They have no problem with ruling Russia, where people simply do whatever the authorities tells them to do and and over the years they have built a network of influence in the West by pumping money into the right people. Now we can see it perfectly well, in the cultural field it is perhaps even more clear than elsewhere. La Scala gleefully opens the season with “Boris Godunov” – with Putin’s pet Abdrazakov (because he belongs to the Kremlin’s clique of musicians just as much as Netrebko or other Matsuev only he is smarter than the aforementioned) – and tells to fuck off to the protestes, Salzburg and Vienna are not even bothering to hide from where their funding comes. And, naturally, ignorant western pelicans (= enlightened cultural elite) swallow everything, exclaiming, of their own accord – Ah, artistic freedom, ah we cannot ban Great Russian Art, ah, cancel culture, ah wokism.
    If you want Great Russian Sledegehammers, then please yourselves, it’s your choice – but maybe you will finally realize that it comes in the one package with “Great Russian Culture”