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‘I don’t want to hate anyone’. Russia’s acclaimed singer hits back at criticism from authorities calling to strip him of citizenship over ‘Glory to the heroes’ remark

Famous Russian singer of Georgian origin Valery Meladze has responded to the criticism from Russian officials who demanded that his citizenship be revoked following a “Glory to the heroes’ remark. Meladze said that he “has been living with a feeling of strain and grief like many other people” for 10 months since Russian invaded Ukraine.

“It so happened that the nations I passionately love are in conflict where people are dying. I CAN’T AND DON’T WANT TO HATE ANYONE AND AM NOT TRYING TO PANDER TO ANYONE. I am only dreaming that this enmity came to an end and the close nations were in accord with each other. And I am willing to make every effort to achieve that,” he wrote online.

Russian senator Elena Afansyeva suggested that Meladze should no longer remain a Russian citizen in response to a video that emerged online where the singer responds to a “Glory to Ukraine” comment with a “Glory to the heroes” remark.

“While our citizens are dying for Russian people and defending Russian territories, some allow themselves to participate in Nazi salutes with Ukrainian Nazis. This is unacceptable. If Meladze was an honest person, which I doubt, he would hand in his Russian passport himself. However, they got used to earning big bucks in Russia,” Afansyeva believes.

Sergey Mironov, leader of a faction in the Russian parliament, demanded that Meladze be stripped of his titles and awards on 2 January. “His behaviour should be condemned. A truly Russian artist cannot and should not behave like this. He is trying to have a cake and eat it too, trying to get the most on both sides. It’s time to make up your mind,” Mironov said.

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Meladze became one of the first public figures in the music industry to call for an end to the Ukraine war. On 24 February, the day when the invasion began, he recorded a video, saying, “Something that could not and should not ever happen has happened today. History will someday be the judge of it and sort it out.”

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