Crimea: six people fined or arrested due to famous Ukrainian song being played during wedding

Crimean town of Bakhchysarai’s district court has brought six six participants of a wedding held in restaurant Arpat to administrative responsibility, states the court’s website. On 10 September, a famous Ukrainian song Chervona Kalyna (Red Viburnum, this song became one of the symbols of the country after the start of the Russian invasion - translator’s note) was played at the wedding.

The owner of the restaurant was arrested for 14 days, the DJ and the dancer were both arrested for 10 days, the groom’s mother was arrested for 5 days, the bride’s mother received a 40,000 rubles (€640) fine, and the owner’s wife was fined 50,000 rubles (€800), reports Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, citing a source.

The people were charged with “propaganda of Nazi attributes or symbols” and “discreditation” of the Russian army.

The “discreditation”, according to the court, is the Ukrainian-language Chervona Kalyna being played. The court claims that the song “is used by the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, banned in Russia”, which is why the song “contains discrediting information about the Russian Armed Forces”.

“On 10 September 2022,

a public demonstration of a Ukrainian song, which was deemed by an expert to be an attribute (battle song) used by the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, recognised as an extremist organisation and banned in the Russian Federation,

took place during a wedding held in restaurant Arpat,” the court’s statement reads.

Yesterday, 13 September, the restaurant was shut down for a review by the administration of Bakhchysarai.

On 11 September, a video from the wedding held in the restaurant was spread across social media. In the video, the guests are singing along to the Ukrainian song.

Crimea’s Russia-appointed head Sergey Aksyonov previously said that organisers and participants of such events had to be held responsible, “relieved of their posts”, and that “other measures within the framework of the law” had to be taken against them. According to Aksyonov, all cases of chanting Ukrainian slogans and singing Ukrainian songs or “nationalist anthems” at public events will be “punished under criminal law”.

“Behaviour of this kind is betrayal of our country and of everyone currently defending peace with their lives. It would be rational and logical for anyone that supports the Ukrainian Nazi regime to leave for the country that they love so much,” Aksyonov emphasised.

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