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Russia blocks Ukrainian folk song "Chervona Kalyna" on music platforms

Wednesday, 9 November 2022, 20:01

Music streaming services in Russia have started blocking "Chervona Kalyna" (The Red Guelder-Rose), a Ukrainian folk song which Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has called "the anthem of an extremist organisation".

Source: Russian outlet Baza

Details: Baza found that it is no longer possible to listen to the song "Oi, u luzi chervona kalyna" (Oh, the red guelder-rose in the meadow) on Yandex.Muzyka. The technical support team at Yandex.Muzyka explained that it has been blocked because of a decision by Roskomnadzor [the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring Russian media – ed.]. Roskomnadzor had sent a message to all streaming platforms telling them to restrict access to this song. 


However, Yandex.Muzyka has not blocked a cover version of this particular song performed by Russian singer Alexander Malinin; it has also left a few covers and remixes. 

VKontakte [Russian social media] still has this song available in all versions.

Additional information: "Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" is a Ukrainian song written by Stepan Charnetskyi in Halychyna [in Ukraine’s west] in early 1914. It was inspired by the last verse of a Cossack song from the 17th century, "Rozlylysia kruti berezhky" (The steep banks flooded). After World War I started, "Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" was probably completed by Hryhorii Trukh; the Sich Riflemen of the early 20th century sang it, and it became a folk song, too.

There are several versions of the song. It was also sung by soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during World War II. 

"Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" reached a new peak of popularity in 2022 after Andrii Khlyvniuk performed it during the early days of Russia’s invasion, and the legendary band Pink Floyd released a cover version of the song named "Hey, Hey, Rise Up!" It has been widely performed in Ukraine and abroad, and has become a symbol of  Ukraine’s invincibility. 

Russian law enforcement officers began harassing people who listened to this song, first in occupied Crimea, and then in other temporarily occupied territories. 

In October, Miss Crimea Olga Valeyeva was fined 40,000 roubles (US$650) and her friend was given a 10-day prison sentence for singing the song. It was then that Russia’s Interior Ministry first referred to it as "the anthem of an extremist organisation".

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