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Kremlin de facto bans dozens of top singers from performing Russia’s secret music industry blacklist contains war opponents, ‘almost naked’ party attendees, and others

Source: Meduza
Picvario Media, LLC / Alamy / Vida Press

In early February 2024, the Russian authorities sent the country’s music producers and promoters an updated list of artists who are “banned from concert activity” in Russia. Meduza has obtained a copy of the document from two sources in the music industry.

The blacklist contains attendees of the “almost naked” party that drew sharp backlash from conservative activists and the Russian authorities in December, including singers Philipp Kirkorov, Lolita Milyavskaya, Natalya Ionova (better known as Glukoza), Dima Bilan, and Anna Asti. It also includes artists who have spoken out against the war in Ukraine, such as rapper Loqiemean and the band Neschastny Sluchai (“Accident” or “Unfortunate Event”), as well as others who have been more cautious in their statements about the war, like the bands Komsomolsk and Shortparis.

Even some artists who recently took part in “patriotic” events landed on the list. The bands Mongol Shuudan, Yorsh, and Plan Lomonosov, for example, performed at KinchevFest, a musical festival organized by Alisa band leader Konstantin Kinchev, who has spoken out in support of the Russian army.

To see the complete list, which appears to contain a number of mistakes, click on the button below.

  • Anna Asti
  • Dead Blonde
  • Kedr Livanskiy
  • Loqiemean (Roman Khudyakov)
  • Markul
  • Monran (Meduza was unable to find an artist with this name)
  • The Chemodan
  • Sergey Ananich
  • Boris Andrianov
  • Olga Arefyeva
  • Dima Bilan
  • Glukoza
  • Jukebox Trio
  • Plamenev
  • Shortparis
  • The Matrixx
  • Wildways
  • Diktofon
  • Drugdeejeya
  • Yorsh
  • Komsomolsk
  • Neschastny Sluchai
  • Alexey Kortnev
  • Mongol Shuudan
  • Maxim Leonidov
  • Maxim Marlow
  • Lolita Milyavskaya
  • Aleksha Novich
  • Shchenki (“The Puppies”)
  • Pavel Pikovsky
  • Polina Osetinskaya
  • CMH (better known as rapper Ruslan Tushentsov, or CrazyMegaHell)
  • Elektroforez
  • Maxim Tesli
  • Maria Totibadze
  • Plan Lomonosov
  • Oleg Yagodin (Kurara)
  • Operation Plasticine
  • Polmateri
  • Put (“Path”)
  • Rynochnye Otnosheniya (“Market relations”)
  • Slot
  • Lemon Formation
  • Rita Dakota
  • Albina Dzhanabaeva
  • Dmitry Daniil (better known as Scally Milano)
  • Dora
  • Dmitry Emelyanov
  • Alexander Kazyan (OU74)
  • Filipp Kirkorov

One of the artists on the list told Meduza that the new version of the list is its “third iteration.” Shortly before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he said, people with links to the Putin administration warned him that there would be lists like this and that he would land on it if he didn’t “change [his] position.” Another source in the music industry also said the list came straight from the Kremlin.

A Russian music promoter told Meduza that he has seen evidence of the ban being implemented against at least two of the artists on the list. “Promoters are getting calls and being told that we can’t include these artists at events that use state money or hang outdoor ads [for them],” he explained.

The Russian media has reported on the existence of unpublicized music industry blacklists in the past, though the Russian authorities have denied that such lists exist. According to one banned artist who spoke to Meduza, the lists are compiled by the Presidential Directorate for Social Projects, which is led by Sergey Novikov. Meduza’s sources have characterized Novikov as the top figure behind the Russian authorities’ censorship of film, theater, and music. Novikov did not respond to Meduza’s request for comment.

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Reporting by Kristina Safonova and Svetlana Reiter

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