The Russian Media Group (RMG) announced that Russiam music artists criticizing Russia’s Ukraine invasion are banned from radio stations and music TV channels. The artists named in the RMG statement made harsh statements concerning the conflict between the two countries. The pro-government media company explained that their top priority is to respect their Russian audience. The company had no choice but to terminate the contract of artists who show ‘arrogant and contemptuous attitude’ to Russian listeners.

Included in the list are three Russian acts and a few Ukrainian artists, including rock band Aquarium whose lead singer, Boris Grebenshchikov. The latter called the war “madness” in an Instagram post. Grebenshchikov is familiar with political pressure as he described to BBC that half of his life, from the 70s up to the 80s was all under multiple and varying bans.

Russian Music Artists Also Face Cancellations Outside of Russia for Opposite Reason

In New York City on the other hand, Metropolitan Opera and other opera houses declared they would be cutting ties with Russian artists who support president Putin. The artists who were affected by the declaration included opera singer Anna Netrebko who is closely connected to the Russian president.

According to New York Times, Netrebko was photographed with a flag being used by Russian supported separatist groups. Her concert in Aarhus, Denmark for February 25 was cancelled as she was under pressures to publicly denounce and cut connections with Putin.

A few days later, the opera singer and her husband who is also in the same industry, Yusif Eyvazov, released a statement that they also want the war in Ukraine to end; but without mentioning Putin, Netrebko contends it is not right to force public figures to openly express their political opinions and at the same time, condemn their homeland because it is their freedome to choose what to believe.