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(Credit: Alexander Shatov)

Music

Spotify issues an act of protest against Russia

Spotify has announced its intentions to protest against the attacks in Ukraine by shutting down the Moscow office. It has said it will restrict the discoverability of content owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media. The organisation has spoken in support of Ukraine at this unfortunate juncture.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” a Spotify spokesperson said in their statement. “Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever.”

Spotify has said their Moscow offices will be closed “indefinitely”, as the organisation are currently exploring additional ideas to follow in the future. Ukraine has been under siege since February 24th, since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the operation. His move has proven controversial, leading Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks to compare Putin to Adolf Hitler.

Other artists have declared their intentions to boycott Russia. The musicians feel that it is their duty to avoid the country in an effort to distance themselves from the attacks. In many ways, this stance mirrors the anti-apartheid stance British and American musicians took during the 1980s, as bands like Queen were condemned for playing Sun City. Rod Stewart was also criticised for performing in the country.

Louis Tomlinson, Nick Cave and Franz Ferdinand are just some musicians who have cancelled their upcoming shows in Russia. Sir Paul McCartney uploaded a photo of a concert in Ukraine, and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that Russia would no longer be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision song contest. And then there’s The Royal Opera House, which has decided to go ahead and cancel a planned residency by Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, which is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious companies in the world.

The Royal Opera House released a statement apologising for the cancellation, but can’t proceed with the week-long festival under the current political circumstances. The attack is still ongoing as of the time of print.