Rock band has decided to send back Dmitry Medvedev’s autograph
Deep Purple, Dmitry Medvedev’s favorite rock band, have decided to return the former Russian president’s autograph “in protest at his various statements post invasion.”
In response to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, ordered by President Vladimir Putin, the legendary English band issued a statement titled “As a rule, Deep Purple is apolitical, but on this occasion...,” in which it condemned “Putin’s military for the atrocities to innocent men, women and children in Ukraine.”
“I have just written to Dmitri Medvedev, former President and now head of the Russian Security Council, returning the autograph he gave me at the dinner for Deep Purple at the Gorky Palace in March 2011, in protest at his various statements post invasion,” the group’s keyboardist Donald Airey said.
He did not specify which particular statements he was referring to, but on February 26, two days after the beginning of the offensive in Ukraine, Medvedev said that the “military operation” would be “carried out in full” and would last until the results, outlined by Putin, had been achieved, “no more and no less.”
The band shared some memories of performing in Kharkov Opera House “almost exactly 20 years ago” and apologized to its Russian and Ukrainian fans for the cancellation of the planned shows.
“We live in hope that we can fulfill those dates in the future,” Deep Purple said.The group went further, calling the Russians to protest against the war and the country’s leadership.
“I would like to see Russians on the streets in their millions, to show their disgust at the Ukrainian invasion, and I’d like to dream that very quickly, Russia can find some modern leadership that will bring them back into the world as friends. We have so much in common,” lead singer Ian Gillan said.
In March 2011, ahead of Deep Purple’s concert in Moscow, then President Dmitry Medvedev, a self-proclaimed long-term fan of the group, invited the British rockers to his Gorky residence. He told his guests that when he started listening to them, he could not imagine that someday he would be sitting with them at the same table.
The military attack on Ukraine has stated goals of “demilitarizing” this country, protecting People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and defending Russia’s own security, according to Moscow. Majority of Western countries condemned the war and responded to Russia’s actions by imposing harsh sanctions. A list of foreign companies ceasing their operations in Russia is also constantly growing.