Roger Waters Sparks Controversy With Russian Interview

Roger Waters Sparks Controversy With Russian Interview

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MOSCOW (CelebrityAccess) — Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters’ apparent support for Russia, including their 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, has sparked a backlash among Ukrainians.

According to Billboard Waters gave an interview to Russian newspaper Izvestia in which he defended the Russian annexation of Crimea by suggesting that there were many “agreements and other papers” which justified Russia’s claims on Sevastopol, a major port in the region.

Rogers threw further fuel on the fire when he said that the conflict with Ukraine was “provoked” by the removal of Ukraine’s pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Billboard reported. Rogers also suggested the idea of blaming Russia for the conflict in Ukraine was “laughable” and said the blame rests with Victoria Nuland, the senior State Department official for Europe and Eurasia under the Obama Administration, RT reported.

RT, formerly Russia Today, is owned by the Russian government.

Yanukovych, who became President of Ukraine in 2010, was ousted from power in 2014 during a period of public protest known as the Orange Revolution. He is currently wanted on charges of treason by the Government of Ukraine and is in exile in Russia.

According to Billboard, the Ukranian non-government organization Mirotvorets has put Waters on its unofficial blacklist. Mirotvorets, which has ties to Ukranian security services, monitors critics of the nation “whose actions have signs of crimes against the national security of Ukraine, peace, human security, and the international law.” Mirotvorets itself is a controversial entity and has published personal information of journalists critical of Ukraine just days before they were assassinated.

In the interview, Rogers did offer a somewhat jaundiced view of Putin but noted that it was “none of my business” if Russians supported or opposed their President. Putin was re-elected in March in an election that was widely seen as a sham. The Organization for Security and Co-operation decried the results, noting that Russian citizens had no real choice after rivals, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, had been barred from participating in the election or arrested.

“Observers noted a variety of measures, some involving inappropriate pressure on voters, aimed at increasing turnout. Persistent pressure on civil society, the absence of critical reporting in most media, and concerted efforts to increase turnout characterized the political environment of this election,” the OSCE said in a statement.

“While the incumbent president did not participate in debates or in campaigning, the extensive coverage of his official activities provided him with a dominant presence,” it added.

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