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Eduard Viktorovich Bondarenko
First Deputy Director Eduard Viktorovich Bondarenko
Ekaterina Semenova
Deputy Director Ekaterina Semenova
Deputy Head Tatiana Tikhomirova
Deputy Head Oleg Dmitriev
Book chapter
ZenPropaganda: A Comprehensive Study on Identifying Propaganda Techniques in Russian Coronavirus-Related Media

Chernyavskiy A., Shomova S., Dushakova I. et al.

In bk.: Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024). ELRA and ICCL, 2024. P. 17795-17807.

Working paper
Yves Montand in the USSR interviews, source

Lapina-Kratasyuk E., Oiva M.

Haastatteluaineisto Yves Montand Neuvostoliitossa, lähdemateriaali. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2020081502. The Language Bank of Finland, 2021

Celebrating Victory Day: The International Music Festival "Road to Yalta" 2024 at the Kremlin

On May 1st, the State Kremlin Palace played host to the grand gala concert of the 6th annual International Road to Yalta Festival. This esteemed event has become a cherished tradition, uniting performers worldwide in homage to the memory of Soviet soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Victory. This year, the festival received 220 applications from artists representing 55 countries, underscoring its global significance and resonance.

Celebrating Victory Day: The International Music Festival "Road to Yalta" 2024 at the Kremlin

Ernest Matskyavichyus, the festival's artistic director and Director of the HSE Institute of Media, shared insights into the competition's final stages. Speaking ahead of the concert at the international exhibition-forum "Russia, "Matskyavichyus emphasized the festival's role in perpetuating historical memory. He elaborated on the competition format, highlighting the poignant renditions of iconic songs from the Great Patriotic War by both Russian and international vocalists. This cross-cultural exchange, Matskyavichyus noted, fosters a profound sense of camaraderie and unity among participants.

"On May 1, they sing duets with Russian musicians – people who can say a lot in the language of music, and say it with their hearts," said Ernest Matskyavichyus.

The idea of a festival of this format arose from the presenter of the Vesti information program after a news story about the Polish musician Peter Kosewski, who was kicked out of the World War II Museum in Gdansk for singing the song "Dark Night" in Polish. This story made such a strong impression that Ernest Matskyavichyus suggested to Andrey Kondrashov– at that time Deputy General Director of VGTRK, to create a festival where artists from different countries could freely perform songs about the Great Patriotic War in their native languages. Today Andrey Kondrashov is the president of the festival. "Our festival exists to build bridges and destroy walls," Andrei Kondrashov said. - "It is not so important which of the participants wins today – they are already all winners, because they are in a place where justice prevails, where love wins, common sense wins and truth wins."

This year's event was attended by performers from 15 countries: Egypt, Germany, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Italy, Mongolia, Turkey, Congo and China. The jury was traditionally headed by People's Artist of the RSFSR Lev Leshchenko. In addition, the expert team included famous Russian pop artists and even the participant of the Road to Yalta in 2023, Tino Eisbrenner from Germany, who took 2nd place for performing the song "Cranes" in a duet with Russian singer Zara. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War were also present at the concert in the Grand Kremlin Palace: the whole hall greeted them standing up.

It was not the first time that Lee Otta performed as the main conductor of the concert, and Ernest Matskyavichyus and TV presenter of the Rossiya-1 channel Tatyana Remezova conducted it.

Andrey Kondrashov, opening the festival, read a welcome telegram from Vladimir Putin, in which the president noted the importance of the "Road to Yalta": "The initiative of the festival serves to preserve our cultural and historical heritage, the memory of the events of the Great Patriotic War, the feat of our people who defended the freedom of the Motherland and defeated Nazism.

The festival's conclusion saw the announcement of winners, with Ji Pengyu from China clinching the top spot for his stirring rendition of "Holy War." The evening culminated in a collective performance of the iconic song "Victory Day," led by Lev Leshchenko, symbolizing the enduring spirit of resilience and triumph.

Among the speakers were those who had seen the fighting with their own eyes. So, Markus Gorstein, a musician from Germany, and Nikolai Dolgachev, a war correspondent for VGTRK, performed Vladimir Vysotsky's "Song of the Earth". And the song "We do not need to be pitied" from the film "Gypsy", based on the words of the poet-front-line soldier Semyon Gudzenko, was performed by Tiro Hilarius Turip from Indonesia and a sergeant of the Russian army, who was wounded near Makeyevka, musician Sergey Orlov.

Many of the songs were played for the first time at the festival. "Where are you now, fellow soldiers?" performed by French vocalist Francois Modem and singer Utah sounded especially heartfelt.

As the echoes of the festival's finale lingered, participants and volunteers alike looked ahead with anticipation, eager to embrace the spirit of unity and celebration at future festivals. For them, the Road to Yalta Festival serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of music to unite hearts and minds across the globe.

Amidst the vibrant performances and heartfelt renditions, the festival also saw the introduction of innovative elements, including short video business cards showcasing the personal stories and aspirations of participating artists. Many performances were imbued with theatrical elements, adding depth and emotion to the presentations. These creative endeavors underscored the diverse and multifaceted nature of the festival.

Musical arrangements ranged from stirring choral performances by the Academic Large Choir "Masters of Choral Singing" to the evocative melodies of folk instruments, infusing each performance with a unique national flavor. The inclusion of folk instruments and orchestral accompaniments added richness and depth to the musical tapestry of the festival.

Among the performers were individuals whose personal connections to wartime experiences lent poignancy to their performances. Markus Gorstein from Germany, alongside war correspondent Nikolai Dolgachev, delivered a stirring rendition of Vladimir Vysotsky's "Song of the Earth," offering a poignant tribute to the human cost of conflict. Similarly, Tiro Hilarius Turip from Indonesia, accompanied by Russian army sergeant Sergey Orlov, delivered a moving rendition of "We do not need to be pitied," based on the words of frontline soldier Semyon Gudzenko.

As the festival drew to a close, accolades were bestowed upon the standout performers. The winner was Ji Pengyu, a participant from China, who, together with the People's Artist of Russia Vasily Gerello, presented the song "Holy War", which became a symbol of the protection of the Motherland. Together with the artists, the whole hall performed this song with tears in their eyes.

The audience Award was given to Pamella Lacerenza. Sam Chilson, a performer from the Republic of the Congo Mussungu Mapaku Tessa, who presented the song "My Beloved" together with the Honored Artist of Russia Dmitry Dyuzhev, was awarded a prize from the EuroTransStroy company. Before the concert, he confessed his love for Russia and said that now he has many friends here: "I think Russia is a good, beautiful, big country. I love all the people in Russia, and I also like Russian cuisine. My favorite dish is borscht." Sasho Gachnik received the award from the Ministry of Recreation and Tourism of the Republic of Crimea.

The festival concluded on a triumphant note with a collective rendition of "Victory Day," led by Lev Leshchenko, uniting performers and audience members in a stirring tribute to the enduring legacy of victory and perseverance.

Beyond the stage, the festival's profound impact reverberated through the experiences of volunteers from the Media Institute. Engaging in a myriad of roles, from videography to translation, these students gained invaluable hands-on experience and forged lasting connections. Their contributions underscored the festival's role as a platform for cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

Looking ahead, participants and volunteers expressed anticipation for future editions of the Road to Yalta Festival, eager to continue the tradition of celebrating unity, resilience, and the power of music to transcend boundaries. For them, the festival represents not only a celebration of victory but also a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity in the face of adversity.

As the festival concluded, its impact resonated far beyond the confines of the Kremlin's walls. Ernest Mackevicius reflected on the festival's significance during an interview on the Vesti Nedeli TV program, highlighting its resilience amidst external pressures. Despite challenges and media scrutiny, the festival continued to garner immense interest, a testament to its enduring relevance in today's world.

The festival's profound impact extended beyond the stage, resonating with volunteers from the Media Institute who contributed their talents to the event. Engaging in a myriad of roles, from videography to translation, these students gained invaluable experience and forged lasting memories. Reflecting on their participation, Nadezhda Suitcase and Yulia Komanova expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to be part of such a significant global event. Their experiences not only enriched their portfolios but also left an indelible mark on their personal and professional growth.

In Nadezhda's words, her involvement in the festival's organization offered a unique opportunity for practical learning and skill development. Meanwhile, Yulia cherished the camaraderie and cultural exchange fostered during rehearsals, underscoring the festival's role in transcending linguistic and cultural barriers.

In the aftermath of the festival, participants and volunteers alike looked forward to future editions with anticipation and excitement. The Road to Yalta Festival, with its message of unity, resilience, and remembrance, serves as a beacon of hope in an ever-changing world. As they bid farewell to this year's festivities, they carry with them memories of camaraderie, inspiration, and the enduring power of music to unite hearts and minds across the globe.

Nagham Ali