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The Times of India

Soviet anthem unacceptable for Russia

Sunday, December 3, 2000

Moscow - The old Soviet hymn is unacceptable for today's Russia, a prominent reformist leader and lawmaker has warned, deepening the public controversy over Russia's future anthem.

"Russia is a very different state now, based on different principles and traditions, and it's wrong to repeat another regime's anthem, it will rip the society apart," Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the liberal party Yabloko, said in a radio interview Saturday.

Yabloko's politicians want to press their case before Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an attempt to convince him not to present "such a divisive issue" for a parliamentary vote.

"In any case, our parliamentary faction will vote against the anthem of the non-existing state," Yavlinsky pledged, in reference to the Soviet Union which fell apart ten years ago.

The current national symbols, including a provisional hymn from a composition by 19th century musician Mikhail Glinka, have been adopted by former Russian president Boris Yeltsin's decree, but never ratified by the parliament.

The previous Communist-dominated Duma -- lower house of parliament -- voted in 1999 to reinstate the Soviet anthem.

The controversial decision forced Putin's newly created State Council to address the issue on its first meeting last week.

Recent polls show that 46 percent of Russians favor reinstituting "Gimn Sovetskogo Soyuza" or "Hymn of the Soviet Union," as the anthem, despite opposition by several prominent public figures and the Orthodox Church.

Yabloko has staunchly opposed the Soviet hymn as one of "the symbols of the bloody crimes of Stalinism," proposing instead to keep the provisional Glinka anthem or adopting a completely new melody.

Russia needs "the hymn of a new, different state, new generation, different political system, because with all respect due to history, we must keep our sights on the future," Yavlinsky said. AFP

Sunday, December 3, 2000

See also:

Grigory Yavlinsky: approval of the music by Aleksandrov as the hymn for Russia represents a step towards a split in society

Yabloko and the SPS oppose restoration of the symbols of the Soviet Union

Yabloko proposes the march “Farewell of a Slavic woman” as a new hymn of Russia

The Times of India, Sunday, December 3, 2000