by Charlie Crooijmans
On March 4 the presidential elections will be held in Russia. Current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who was elected in 2000 and 2008, is the main candidate. Since December last year after the parliamentary elections – according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) there was a widespread fraud in favor of the ruling party – thousands of demonstrators protested against the results of the polls and lots of them want to get rid of Putin. Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before. There seem to be no freedom of speech and opposition protesters aren’t very welcome – even if they’re 5cm high and made of plastic. This doesn’t stop people from making songs and video-clips to do some serious (and funny) Putin-bashing. Here are a few examples.
One of the most popular protest song comes from Mikhail Vistitsky, a 45-year-old veteran of the elite force. He wrote the lyrics after attending one of the first big anti-Putin demonstrations in late December. He is not a professional musician, he just wanted to provide an anthem to the protest movement. One phrase goes like this: “we trusted you, but you lied to us for so many years, using your old KGB tactics”. The clip has English subtitles.
A bit more aggressive is this tune from the female punk band Pussy Riot. Eight feminists started to get together and play after Putin announced to be the presidential candidate. The band gave a roof-top concert next to the police cell where protest leader and blogger Alexei Navalny sentenced. In January they were shooting their video clip at the Red Square next to Saint Basil’s Cathedral. After they finished they got captured by the police. (Bangkok Post). In the video and during their performances – they encourage the people to resist Putin’s regime – they are wearing colored balaclavas to protect their identity.
This is a very creative and artistic video clip of a group called the EzhoFF Band. In the lyrics they make fun of Putin’s botox treatments and that he is reading bedtime stories to the people, but it’s time to face the facts of corruption and fraud. On their Youtube channel you can find more their critical material.
This is an intriguing video editing, uploaded last year, about the People’s Freedom Party having to confront zombies…
The rockband Rabfak made a satirical video clip in which they compare the people, voters of the coming presidential election, with lunatics.
This clip (Putin fag and nit, google translate) comes from an anonymous, connected to Xashtuk, a blog against Putin
A singer from Tajikistan, Tolibdzjon Koerbanchanov, made a pro Putin song (VVP – Vladimir Vladimir Putin). He is praising Putin for being a superman and saving the country. The odd thing is that the singer can’t be found anywhere. Even the Minister of Culture of Tajikistan doesn’t know the man. Is it merely a campaign stunt? It is highly speculated. Meanwhile the song is adopted by blogger Navalny and ironically, it has become a very popular protest song.