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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Gets Support From Myriad Celebrities

A group of politically aware Russian bands and a council of pro-Yeltsin organizations have joined forces to organize a Moscow concert to rally support for Yeltsin in this month's referendum.


"Even though we are musicians, we are citizens in the first place and have political views", said Alexander Kutikov, a member of the 20-year-old band, Mashina Vremeni, which has agreed to play. "We support Yeltsin and want to express our point of view at the meeting".


The April 21 concert, scheduled to take place near Red Square at 7 P. M. is being organized by the Civil Council of Democratic Organizations of Russia, an affiliation of democratic unions, political parties and trade associations established to support Yeltsin, according to Mikhail Shchnaider, referendum campaign coordinator.


Shchnaider said that three top Russian rock bands had agreed to take part: "Alisa", "Nautilus Pompilius" and "Mashina Vremeni". Boris Grebenshchikov, the leader of Russia's most distinguished rock band, "Akvarium", called news reports that he would also be participating, "a lie".


In a related story, a group of Russian celebrities, from Mikhail Gorbachev's "Mister Glasnost" to chess champion Garry Kasparov, have formed a public committee to rally support for Yeltsin, Reuters reported.


The evening Izvestia newspaper on Wednesday published an appeal signed by 25 prominent reformers including past and present economic policy leaders Yegor Gaidar and Boris Fyodorov and Anatoly Chubais the privatization minister.


The list included Yelena Bonner, widow of the late human rights'campaigner Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Yakovlev, Gorbachev's close aide who is known in the West as "Mister Glasnost", exiled writer Vladimir Bukovsky and former mayor of Moscow Gavriil Popov. Another distinguished group of cultural figures included cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and actor Mikhail Ulyanov.