Metro Detroit Ukrainians call on Russian DJ headlining Movement to denounce Putin

Russian DJ Nina Kraviz says she doesn’t support politicians, political parties

ARRIONDAS, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: DJ/Producer Nina Kraviz performs on stage of Aquasella Festival on August 17, 2019 in Arriondas, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Gallardo/Redferns) (Pablo Gallardo, 2019 Pablo Gallardo)

DETROIT – Russian DJ Nina Kraviz, who is headlining an electronic music festival in Detroit this month, has been asked by Ukrainian Americans living in Metro Detroit to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin as his forces continue their attacks in Ukraine.

UPDATE: Movement Detroit: Russian DJ Nina Kraviz no longer performing at music festival

A community of Metro Detroit Ukrainians on Tuesday, May 17, sent a letter to the musician, who has an international presence, to “request that Kraviz renounce her past statements supporting Putin and speak out against the injustice occurring in Ukraine.” In the letter, the authors reference social media posts -- from 2014 and 2016 -- in which Kraviz allegedly shows support for Putin.

“You have previously expressed open support for Putin, including via statements made shortly after his annexation of Crimea in 2014, and in subsequent social media posts,” the letter to Kraviz from Metro Detroit Ukrainians reads. “You continue to tour and perform, profiting in democratic countries, while Ukrainian civilians suffer and die daily at the hands of the Russian Federation for the same freedoms that allow your livelihood.

“You have spoken of the evils of racial injustice and the need to combat climate change, yet remain silent on the murder of thousands of Ukrainians carried out by your countrymen,” the letter continues. “Your vague Instagram video posted in February depicting the word “peace” ignores that Russia bears full responsibility for this war.”

Click here to read the entire letter, which was shared as a petition.

At about the same time Ukrainian community issued the letter to Kraviz, the DJ posted a statement on her Facebook page, saying she has never supported “politicians or political parties,” and doesn’t “understand politics and the social processes it creates. So I don’t think it is right to talk about what’s happening on social media.”

“I have always believed that the mission of music and musicians, electronic music, techno and house scene is to unite completely different people erasing borders and patterns rather than divide them,” Kraviz said. “ ... Making, releasing and playing good music is what I love most.”

You can read Kraviz’s entire statement below.

The Russian DJ is scheduled to perform at Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival on May 30, just ahead of Jeff Mills. Members of the Ukrainian-American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan say Movement organizers declined their request to comment on the invitation to Kraviz.

The call for Kraviz to renounce her alleged support for Putin comes as Ukraine continues to fight for survival almost three months after Russia invaded the former-Soviet nation. In addition to sanctions issued on Russia and many of its stakeholders, nations around the world have been banning Russian teams, stars and artists from participating in or performing at competitions and events in an effort to condemn the nation’s actions in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelenskyy told Russian reporters in March that cultural figures and athletes from Russia may not feel like it themselves, but they “have to understand they’re an instrument for the country’s international image ... When people are dying (in Ukraine), you should at least be uncomfortable.”

The latest: Russian soldier pleads guilty at Ukraine war crimes trial

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.