Cultural managements

Canceled culture: a who’s who of organizations putting Russia in a cultural blackout

In late February, the world watched in horror as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine after weeks of threatening rhetoric.

But as Western leaders rushed to respond with economic sanctions an unexpected new front opened up when the cultural sector entered the geopolitical fray.

Art, music and sports have long been areas where Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to project soft power, and business leaders, artists and athletes have led the fight against the leader in his field. predilection.

But will ballet bans and canceled concerts make a difference? Let’s see who cancels the culture.

High culture: classical music, opera and ballet

From Piotr Tchaikovsky to Wassily Kandinsky, Russia has long been a recognized producer of art and culture. However, artists and other cultural figures on the global opera and ballet circuits have come under as much pressure as the oligarchs in the aftermath of war in Russia.

Conductor and ally of Putin Valery Gergiev drew particular anger for his closeness to the president who has extended to supporting the annexation of Crimea and performing for the Russian military in bombed Syrian towns.

Thanks to his silence, the Russian maestro was first dismissed from tour dates with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, then also lost his position with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Meanwhile, the opera star Anna Netrebko had to withdraw from appearances at the Met Opera in New York (where she was to sing in Puccini’s “Turandot”) for her refusal to repudiate Putin. Described as “one of the greatest singers in the history of the Met”, the famous soprano has since suspended all performances until further notice, canceling the dates planned in Zurich, Milan and Hamburg.

The list of high culture cancellations to date includes:

  • Valery Gregeiv who has been removed from tour dates with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, his role as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, his honorary presidency of the Edinburgh Festival, his musical direction of the festivals of Verbier and Luverne, and was dismissed by its management company
  • Opera singer Anna Netrebko who has suspended all appearances until further notice
  • The Russian State Ballet of Siberia has canceled dates in UK cities including Bristol, Wolverhampton, Peterborough, Northampton, Edinburgh and London
  • A performance of Swan Lake by the Royal Moscow Ballet in Dublin has been canceled
  • In Croatia, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra withdrew two compositions by the iconic Russian composer Tchaikovsky from its repertoire on February 25 and the Croatian National Theater postponed a concert entitled “Russian Serenade”.
  • Solo pianist Denis Matsuev was also sacked from Carnegie Hall in New York for his support for the annexation of Crimea.
  • The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has promised to sever all ties with Russian artists and those linked to Vladimir Putin
  • The Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam has severed ties with its sister institution in St. Petersburg

Fashion and retail

Fast fashion and luxury brands could soon become scarce in Russia after a plethora of retail giants said they would limit or suspend operations in the country.

Scenes of chaos ensued as Russian shoppers rushed to Ikea for a bargain after the flat-pack furniture house announced it would halt imports and exports from the country and close its stores on March 3 .

Ikea was only the latest to announce the drastic measures and followed suit with fellow Swedish H&M. The H&M group, the world’s second largest retailer, has stopped all orders from its Russian site and is preparing to close its 150 stores in the country. This decision could cost them dearly because Russia represents the sixth largest market for the conglomerate.

In a statement, the fast-fashion chain said it stands with “all people who are suffering”.

The list of retailers who have suspended operations so far includes:

  • Ikea furniture store which closed all stores and ended imports and exports to Russia
  • H&M has ended online and in-store Russian sales of all its brands, including &Other Stories, Cos and Monki
  • Online retailer Asos cited the war in Ukraine as the reason for the end of its online services
  • Fast fashion digital store Boohoo halted online orders in Russia but did not say it was related to the invasion of Ukraine
  • Nike suspended online sales on Russian territory but made no statement regarding the war
  • Luxury store Burberry announced it would stop shipments to Russia, the company also said it would donate to the Ukrainian Red Cross appeal and match all donations made by employees


Putin has long hailed Russia’s sporting and athletic prowess as something the country can be proud of and many believe it will be badly damaged at home due to the nation’s losses in this area.

It started when Polandthe Czech Republic and Sweden all refused to face Russia in their World Cup qualifiers, leading FIFA to first say that Russia should play in neutral colors before ousting them from the game altogether. tournament.

Meanwhile, Formula 1, whose Grand Prix is ​​closely associated with President Putin, tore up its contract with Russia and canceled the September race in Sochi and scheduled the 2023 contest in St Petersburg. All races for the foreseeable future are also suspended.

In perhaps the greatest blow, the Paralympic Committee has declared that no Russian or Belarusian athlete will be able to participate in the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. The move came after protests from athletes around the world that competitors from both countries could attend in neutral colours.

A comprehensive list of sport-related sanctions includes:

  • FIFA excludes Russia from the 2022 World Cup
  • Russia suspended from all UEFA-supervised European competitions
  • All Formula 1 Grands Prix in Russia are suspended until further notice
  • The International Tennis Federation has banned Russians from participating in team competitions, although individuals can still compete
  • Russian and Belarusian athletes were banned from the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing
  • The World Series in Athletics has banned all Russian athletes from participating in upcoming competitions, including the World Championships in Athletics to be held in Oregon this year
  • The International Chess Federation has canceled the 44th Chess Olympiad in Moscow and banned Russian and Belarusian players from flying their country’s flags at events

Pop culture: cinema, television and music

In pop culture circles, companies and individuals vilified Putin’s actions and decided to cancel tour dates or block their products from appearing on Russian screens.

Hollywood Studio Warner Bros. released his new film ‘The Batman’ starring Robert Pattinson, citing the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Sony has suspended the release of their latest Marvel adaptation “Morbius”, also due to the conflict.

A sea of ​​musicians from Eric Clapton to Icelandic singer Björk withdrew tour dates in Russia. The talent drain comes as Russia was denied access to Eurovision 2022 after initial finland pressurewho were threatened by Putin because of their consideration for NATO membership.

A comprehensive list of outfits and pop culture artists who acted during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine includes:

  • Warner Bros has pulled the new release of ‘The Batman’ from Russian cinemas
  • Sony’s ‘Morbius’, the Last of Their Marvel Episodes, Won’t Reach Russian Viewers for the Foreseeable Future
  • Icelandic musician Björk pulled out of Moscow concert citing ‘news’
  • The European Broadcasting Union banned Russia from entering Eurovision
  • Disney’s Pixar has canceled the release of its latest film, ‘Turning Red’
  • Britain’s BBC has asked Russian state television to stop airing its version of the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ show, known as ‘Tantsy So Zvyozdami’.
  • The BBC has asked another Russian TV channel to publish ‘The Green Planet’, a documentary presented by Sir David Attenborough
  • The world’s biggest film festival, Cannes, has refused to allow Russian delegates and says no one with Putin ties is welcome
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have canceled their scheduled appearance at the Bol Festival in Moscow later this year, praising the “bravery” of the Ukrainian people
  • Eric Clapton canceled a concert in St. Petersburg this summer because of the illegal invasion of Ukraine
  • Former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson has canceled planned Russia tour dates during the crisis
  • Franz Ferdinand canceled summer concerts in Moscow and St Petersburg during the war despite a ‘deep bond’ with their Russian fans
  • British pop duo Royal Blood, who formed in the coastal town of Brighton, have pulled out of appearances
  • British singer Yungblud said he was ‘heartbroken’ he had to cancel tour dates in Russia
  • Iggy Pop canceled his participation in the Park Live festival in Moscow
  • 90s sensation Green Day canceled Russia dates to support Ukraine
  • Indie band The Killers have also pulled out of Park Live which was due to take place in July