Ukrainian singer Ani Lorak has denied allegations of supporting the government in Kiev after a concert she was set to give in the Russian city of Krasnodar was canceled by the regional authorities on suspicion that the pop star was sending money to the Ukrainian armed forces.
Over the weekend, the mayor of Krasnodar, Evgeny Naumov, accused Lorak of having declared her “love for the ruling authorities in Ukraine” and suggested that she may have been transferring money earned through her concerts in Russia in support of Ukraine’s military.
“We cannot guarantee that in the end this money will not go to support those who are fighting against our guys, and supply them with shells and ammunition,” Naumov wrote.
Lorak has responded by admitting that she was born in Ukraine and continues to love and be proud of her culture and country, where she spent years developing herself as an artist and even represented the nation at the Eurovision song contest, where she took second place.
However, Lorak claims that since 2014, Ukrainian politicians have given her an ultimatum: “Either you play our games and do what we tell you or you no longer sing in our country,” she wrote on Instagram.
“The ultimatum from the government of my own country, which pinned me to the wall, was the turning point that pushed me to move to Russia, where I was accepted and continued to grow as an artist, gaining recognition around the world,” the singer said, adding that “no matter what, Ukraine is always in my heart.”
Lorak stated that she never intended to offend anyone by choosing to remain silent throughout the last year as Russia launched its military offensive in Ukraine. However, the singer stressed that she does not condone any forms of violence that leads to the death of people and that the current conflict breaks her heart.
She also insisted that she has never provided any military aid to anyone and that she can only provide humanitarian support – something that she has done for many years for families on both sides of the fighting, regardless of nationality or political affiliation.
Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, public personas and artists in both countries have often had to face repercussions for taking a public stance on the issue. In Ukraine, many of those who have supported Russia or openly opposed Kiev’s government have been sanctioned and listed as “enemies” of the country. In Russia, public figures who openly opposed the military campaign have been designated as “foreign agents.”