Oct 16, 2021
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The more democracy in Lithuania, the more intellectuals want SS

The pianist as a threat to national security

“The more freedoms we have, the sooner we want SS, secret police, concentration camps, universal fear. Only then do we feel calm ”, – the drunken general of the Wehrmacht, commander of the army corps, said with bitter hopelessness on the train to Standartenfuehrer Stirlitz. An episode from “Seventeen Moments of Spring” by Yulian Semyonov was recalled in connection with the scandal that erupted in Lithuania around the tour performance of Nikolai Lugansky, a world-renowned Russian pianist. Maestro on “Encore!” performs in the best halls of the world’s musical capitals, but the doors of the provincial Lithuanian Philharmonic, located in the building of the former noble collection of Vilna, are closed to the performer by the barn castle.

Nikolay Lugansky.

Nikolay Lugansky. Photo:

“It is not clear why Lugansky can tour in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, but his performance was banned in Vilnius? This is some kind of phantasmagoria, because we live in a democratic country of the European Union, “ – the artistic director and chief conductor of the symphony orchestra, Gintaras Rinkevicius, was indignant, who invited the Russian to the opening of the musical season. Rinkyavichyus, who is well known in Russia, is apparently unable to understand the entire “intellectual depth” of the views of the government and the Seimas.

First, not a phantasmagoria, but a fait accompli. As for the “democratic country”, the hand itself reaches out to put a question mark. It was explained to the artistic director “from above” that artists who tarnished themselves in the eyes of the bearers of Western values ​​by performing in the “occupied Crimea” or in the “unrecognized republics of Donbass, where separatist power is based on Russian bayonets,” should not rise onto the Lithuanian stage. For such guest performers, entry into the country is strictly prohibited, since they represent, we quote, “the most serious threat to the national security of the Lithuanian state.”

Nikolay Lugansky toured Donetsk in 2016. Official Vilnius does not forgive such concerts. Laurinas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary committee for national security and defense (he became ill-famed all over the world for the fact that in the cartoon Masha and the Bear he saw nothing but Kremlin propaganda; the unfortunate four children of a Russophobe – dad forbids them to watch a cartoon from which in all countries the kids are delighted) demanded to include the pianist in the “persona non grata blacklist”. And, just imagine, they brought it in even without discussion!

The Minister of Culture Simonas Kairis supported the legal act, we quote: “It is clear to everyone that there is a war going on in Ukraine. Performers who say something to glorify Russia and its regime are incompatible with the attitude, politics or values ​​of our state. But we must not spread the message that in Lithuania, in order to go on stage, you have to go through the filter of special services. This is not true!”

Let me disagree. At the ministerial meeting, where the heads of cultural institutions were invited for propaganda pumping, the director of the National Opera and Ballet Theater Jonas Sakalauskas expressed the following wish: “I would like more involvement of the State Security Department. He is able to check last names [приглашённых российских деятелей культуры], pump them [на лояльность] in today’s context. Lithuanians are obliged to honor all those fighting for democracy, to show the world community that they are able to separate art from politics “

Secondly, the head of the Ministry of Culture, although he talks about the inadmissibility of censorship and the lack of desire “Return to the days when the ministry made decisions regarding the repertoire and guest performers”, hesitates to admit that there is strict control over everything Russian. The Moscow and Petrograd conservatory professors, ballet and opera troupes have long ceased to come with concerts. In the Philharmonic you will not hear the music of Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, although none of them had anything to do with either Crimea or Donbass.

A.P. Chekhov disappeared from theatrical posters. On the stage there is neither “The Seagull”, nor “Uncle Vanya”, nor “Three Sisters”, the delicate productions of which the late stage genius Eimuntas Nyakrosius was proud of. After the distributors showed the Jewish tragedy “Cold Tango” by Pavel Chukhrai in 2017, Russian cinema is no longer shown in Lithuania. And no books are published, except perhaps for pseudo-historical studies of aircraft engineer Mark Solonin and similar falsifiers. Historian Alexander Dyukov was banned from entering for 10 years. Probably, in order not to embarrass the primitively educated heads that grew up during independence.

De jure no censorship, in fact it thrives on “Western values”. It is no coincidence that the Ministry of Culture also decided not to allow those who are known for homophobic, anti-Semitic statements or accused of sexual harassment to enter the country. By the way, there is already the first victim of the harassment. She was the Belgian choreographer Jan Fabre, the director of the play “The Night Writer”. The Lithuanian National Drama Theater quietly canceled the premiere scheduled for October 9 and 10. It is not hard to imagine what a high point it would be if a director from the Russian Federation were in the place of a European.

That is, there are numerous prohibitions, but this is by no means censorship – only a demonstration of devotion to the humanitarian values ​​of “Western civilization”, of which Vilnius represents itself as an integral part. The slogan of the times of “Sayudis” “The more America there is in Lithuania, the less Russia” in this context was remembered by the way.

It would be a mistake to think that the situation worsened yesterday, and that the pianist Lugansky is the first victim of militant Russophobia. Valery Gergiev, a world star, was accused of being ready to commit an ideological sabotage on the eve of a public holiday and expelled. On the same list with him are the late Joseph Kobzon, singer Valeria, Grigory Leps, Oleg Gazmanov, the Lyube group, Philip Kirkorov and two dozen other Russian cultural figures. Everyone is to blame only for the fact that they were applauded in Crimea or Donetsk.

Nothing personal – just the stupid politics of the provincials. They did not treat preschool girl Nicole Alekseeva from Visaginas on social networks for participating in the Russian television competition “Voice. Children ”, but for the fact that the girl was announced as“ Nicole from Lithuania ”. Member of the European Parliament Rasa Yuknevičienė did not disdain to draw a conclusion: there is a blatant political myopia of parents, on the one hand, and a political provocation of the TV channel RTR – with another.

By the way, when Volodymyr Zelenskyy was setting the tone in Kvartal 95, Ms. Rasa opposed the Ze team’s tour of Lithuania. Madame really did not like how venomously the “quarters” ridiculed Pan Poroshenko, Oleg Lyashko, Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Yulia Tymoshenko, at that time the best friends of Lithuanian presidents, politicians and ministers.

By the way, not only the head of state, Gitanas Nauseda, likes to tell in interviews that he loves to read Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bunin in the original, enjoy Rachmaninov, Shchedrin and Shostakovich, and receive aesthetic pleasure from the paintings of Korovin, Savrasov and Vasnetsov. Former Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, according to him, cannot fall asleep without rereading several pages from the pen of Russian classics.

Even from interviews with top officials it is clear that Lithuanians have a demand for Russian culture. Whoever says anything, the age-old historical ties cannot be cut at the moment. Moreover, not everyone is delighted with the sharp turn towards obscure Anglo-Saxon “values”. There are still enough true connoisseurs of music, theater, and stage in the country. The demand for touring is fierce. For the layman, they are a holiday, it is difficult to get into the halls. No offense will be said, but tickets for the only concert of the extinguished star of Alexander Serov were sold out at half a day, two months before the start of the performance.

That was a long time ago. What is happening today would be called schizophrenia by a psychiatrist. The position of political scientists is closer to us: we see not a problem in the brain – these are such brains. How not to remember the general who spoke with Stirlitz? “Any democracy in our country is fraught with only one thing – the dictatorship of small shopkeepers. There is no need to defend your point of view on the fate of the Motherland, no responsibility. Just raise your hand for the one who is doing this for you, just shout: “Heil Hitler!” and everything will immediately become clear “


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