Russian prosecutor asks court to declare anti-war rapper’s work ‘extremist’

Russian rapper Oxxxymiron waits for the announcement of a verdict in the trial of Russian film and theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov outside a court building in Moscow, Russia June 26, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

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Aug 30 (Reuters) – A Moscow prosecutor has asked a court to declare as “extremist” the work of rapper Oxxxymiron, one of Russia’s most popular musicians, who has publicly opposed the invasion of Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.

Interfax quoted a spokesperson for the Moscow prosecutor’s office as saying that investigators were probing “justification of acts of violence and the ideology of violence” in one of Oxxxymiron’s songs.

Under Russian law, material designated “extremist” is effectively prohibited.

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Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, has been one of the country’s most prominent rappers for a decade, rising to prominence with politically charged lyrics often aimed at the Kremlin and its policies.

Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, he cancelled a planned Russian tour, saying: “I cannot entertain you when Russian missiles are falling on Ukraine.”

He subsequently left Russia, giving a string of concerts in Istanbul, London and Berlin entitled “Russians Against the War”, with profits going to Ukrainian refugees.

Russia’s rappers have previously come under scrutiny from the Kremlin. In April, Ivan Dryomin, who performs under the stage name Face, was declared a “foreign agent” after publicly opposing the war in Ukraine.

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Reporting by Reuters

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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