As the Russian attacks on Ukraine continue, more artists have cancelled their scheduled appearances in the former nation.
Louis Tomlinson and HEALTH are among the latest to pull their Russian gigs, joining the likes of Yungblud, Green Day and Russian rapper Oxxxymiron.
Tomlinson was due to perform in both Ukraine and Russia this year, with a show at Kyiv’s Stereo Plaza slated for Monday July 4, and at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on Wednesday July 6.
In a statement shared to social media overnight, the former One Direction singer wrote: “Due to the recent events in Ukraine, I have to sadly announce that my tour shows in Moscow and Kyiv are canceled until further notice. The safety of my fans is my priority and my thoughts go out to the people of Ukraine and all those suffering from this needless war.”
HEALTH, on the other hand, were booked in to play two shows in Russia next month, taking to St. Petersburg’s Mod Club on Friday April 29, and Moscow’s Aglomerat on Saturday April 30. They wrote in a similar statement that although they “do not wish to penalise [their] fans for governmental decisions that are beyond their control”, the band would cancel both shows out of respect for “the current state of affairs”.
Russian forces launched a military assault on Ukraine in the early hours of last Thursday (February 24). It was reported then that Ukraine had officially severed its diplomatic ties with Russia, and declared martial law after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on the neighbouring nation. At the time, Ukraine officials said Putin had “launched a full-scale invasion”.
The actions of Putin, who has claimed that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine and that his country’s actions amount to a “special military operation”, have drawn widespread condemnation from across the globe.
Late last Sunday (February 27), an update from Ukraine’s interior ministry said 352 Ukrainian civilians had been killed in the conflict so far, including 14 children. They said a further 1684 people, including 116 children, had been wounded (via The Guardian).
Fleetwood Mac‘s Stevie Nicks spoke out to say that her “heart was broken” over the situation, and compared Putin to Hitler. Franz Ferdinand‘s Alex Kapranos paid tribute to the “open and welcoming” people of Kyiv, while Foals honoured the Ukrainian crew of their recent ‘2am’ video. Miley Cyrus, Yungblud and Elton John were among the other artists to issue statements of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
It was also announced last week (February 25), that Russia would not be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Ukraine, which has a population of 44million people, borders both Russia and the European Union. As the BBC reports, Russia has long resisted Ukraine’s move towards embracing European institutions like NATO and the EU. Putin is now demanding guarantees from the West and Ukraine that it will not join NATO, a defensive alliance of 30 countries, and that Ukraine demilitarise and become a neutral state.
You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those affected by the conflict, or via a number of other ways through Choose Love.