Dance to a patriotic song: wedding guests in Crimea were sentenced to prison

I danced to a patriotic song
Wedding guests sentenced to prison in Crimea

At a wedding in Bakhchisarai attached to the Crimea, the guests danced and sang the Ukrainian song “Chervona Kalina”, which has become a symbol of resistance to the Russian invasion. Some revelers must now be behind bars for this.

In Crimea, annexed by Russia, a court issued prison sentences for playing a Ukrainian song at a wedding. The court in the city of Bakhchisaray ordered six “organizers and participants in the wedding” to prison terms ranging from five to 15 days and fines equivalent to more than 800 euros, according to local media.

The song “Chervona Kalina” was described in reports as a “battle song of Ukrainian nationalists”. She says: “This red flower, Kalina, why does she lower her head? It was glorious, Ukraine; why only this storm? It will bloom again, Kalina, forever. And Ukraine will be in all its splendor – hey, hey – rise again.”

A video clip shows wedding guests boisterously dancing and singing this patriotic song, which has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance to Russian invasion on February 24. The court used clauses banning “Nazi symbolism” and banning defamation of the Russian armed forces as a legal basis.

“Betrayal of your country”

The restaurant owner later distanced himself from the incident in a video and pledged support for both the Russian invasion and the Moscow-installed Crimean leadership. Bakhchisaray is a stronghold of the Crimean Tatar minority on the peninsula, many of which reject Russian sovereignty.

After the Ukrainian successes on the front, the head of the Crimean administration, Sergei Aksyonov, appointed by Russia, announced tougher measures against pro-Ukrainian statements. Aksionov wrote on Telegram on Monday that several videos of concerts in which pro-Ukrainian songs were sung are currently circulating. This is a “betrayal of your country” and has criminal consequences.

“It would be reasonable and logical for those who support the Ukrainian regime to go to the country they love so much,” Aksionov said. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea Crimea in the spring of 2014 after the pro-Western coup d’état in Kyiv. The restoration of the peninsula using military means is one of the stated goals of the Kyiv leadership.

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