Skip to Content

Toto's concert in Russia. Screenshot from YouTube

Ukraine blacklists popular Italian singers

Ukranian MPs want to have an Italian singer banned from performing in the country because of his political views.

Published: March 17, 2019, 8:40 am


    A group of Ukrainian MPs have demanded that secret services (SBU) chief Vasily Gritsak ban Italian singer Toto Cutugno from holding a concert in Kiev on March 23 due to his alleged pro-Russian positions.

    One of the MPs who made the request, Viktor Romanyuk, told ANSA that the request was launched because “on the internet, there is a lot of information on his position regarding the occupation of Crimea”.

    Italian news agency ANSA learned on Friday that Romanyuk confirmed the reports of the requested ban on Thursday to “He is part of the Friends of Putin association and supported the Russian annexation of Crimea.”

    In response to the proposed ban, Cutugno told ANSA “I’m very surprised and sorry about this news. It’s absurd that a group of Ukrainian MPs want to stop me signing in a country I love and that loves my music.

    “I’m apolitical, is that clear? I have sung in institutional occasions for heads of state including Putin, but that doesn’t mean political support”.

    Cutugno’s manager Danilo Mancuso told ANSA: “Toto has always been far from the political ambit and in all his life has never expressed himself in any direction”.

    Ukraine’s culture ministry on Monday put another Italian singer, Albano Carrisi, better known by his stage name Al Bano, on its list of individuals considered a threat to national security.

    Al Bano and his ex-wife Romina Power performed in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and they are still popular in Russia.

    The blacklist is compiled and updated by the Ministry of Culture based on requests from the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Ukrainian security services and the National TV and Radio Council. There are now 147 people on the black list, the Interfax agency reported.

    The Apulian singer has never hidden his admiration for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. “I met him three times,” he said in a recent interview. “I have never said a word against Ukraine. Never even made an appreciation. It is unacceptable that I, who have always sung peace now is treated as a terrorist. I have never owned weapons, not even mental ones,” he commented.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Ukraine elects its first Jewish president

    KievA real comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky, better known for playing a president in a TV show, won the final round of the presidential election on Sunday. The incumbent President Petro Poroshenko has conceded defeat.

    Act XXIII: Journalists targeted by police in Paris

    ParisJournalists covering the Yellow Vest demonstration have reported that some of their colleagues have been arrested by the police. Others have been victims of police violence.

    Notre Dame: Was it arson?

    ParisOne of three jihadists involved in a foiled plot in 2016 to launch an attack on the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court just days before before a fire destroyed the iconic spire and roof.

    In a Yellow Vest through Paris

    ParisAn exclusive FWM reportage on the Yellow Vest movement that has riled French President Emmanuel Macron for months now. Our reporter joined a group of the famous gilets jaunes.

    Notre Dame blaze destroys French national unity

    ParisWhile French and Catholics mourn the tragedy that struck the cathedral of Paris on Monday, Internet users, especially Muslims, preferred instead to celebrate the fire with insults and shameful ridicule.

    Huge loss for France as iconic 850- year old Notre Dame embers smolder

    ParisThe origin of the gigantic fire, which devastated the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral on Monday, is still unknown, but an investigation was opened for "involuntary destruction by fire," announced the Paris prosecutor's office in the evening.

    Finns Party wins second highest score in election

    HelsinkiA conservative political party that campaigned against open borders and climate change policies won the second-highest number of seats in Finland's parliamentary elections on Sunday.

    Austria warns of new mass migration wave being prepared

    ViennaAustrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) has warned in a letter to the EU Commission that Europe will be facing a new wave of mass immigration.

    Report highlights Russia’s advantage in GNSS spoofing capabilities

    The Russian Federation has a "growing a comparative advantage in the targeted use and development of GNSS spoofing capabilities to achieve tactical and strategic objectives at home and abroad," a new study has found.

    Polls show that Macron’s Great National Debate flopped

    ParisThe French president and his ministers seem to be paying a high price for their mismanagement of the Great National Debate.

    Go to archive