A Welsh brass band has been touring Crimean venues this month. This is totally unacceptable, according to the Kiev-based government of Ukraine – installed after the 2014 coup. Quite why these ten individuals playing traditional music in theatres around Crimean cities is so distasteful remains a mystery. For our part, it seems an innocent enough exercise, and perhaps a nice way to celebrate a peculiarity of history that ties Wales to that part of the world.
The Ukrainian government felt strongly enough about it to “take steps”.
First, the Ukrainian ambassador to Britain wrote to the organization, requesting they cancel the tour:
They also tweeted about it:
…and wrote to the Foreign Office, who in turn wrote to Symphoninc Brass Wales:
Quite why two different national governments felt the need to pressure a small group of people from travelling to a perfectly safe part of the world, we do not know. Certainly it was nothing to do with risk. And what kind of PR coup does a small orchestra – only 10 pieces – really offer the Russian Federation?
The whole situation reeks of desperation and insecurity really. A sweaty palmed, convulsive need to keep control of a situation that is rapidly slipping out of their grasp.
The small Welsh orchestra went on the tour anyway, and apparently had a great time.
If any of our readers are aware of any similar circumstances – of state pressure being brought against individuals or small groups – please let us know.