Tuesday, September 13, 2022

‘Russia Today is Not for Russians’ Anymore, Harpist Aleksandr Boldachev Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, Aug. 15 – Aleksandr Boldachev, one of the most prominent harpists in the world, says that he feels that he has “lost his motherland” and that the Russia he sees around him since Putin began his war in Ukraine is filled with hatred and is no longer the country he knew or that was connected with all that he loved, its culture, art and heritage.

He now lives in Switzerland and has stopped doing concerts in Russia, but he says that he still tries to maintain ties with friends there and in Ukraine. That is hard in both cases. In the first, many Russians support the war or can’t leave because of their situations; and in the second, many Ukrainians now reject him because he is a Russian (severreal.org/a/rossiya-ne-dlya-russkih-arfist-aleksandr-boldachev-o-poteryannoy-rodine-/31987378.html).

“I grew up in Russian literature, Soviet literature and music. I was informed by an absolutely different understanding of what it means to be a Rusisan,” Boldachev says. “This doesn’t exist now, and I do not know how it can return. I travel to Riga, Georgia and America and meet people I understand. But in Rusisa, there are fewer and fewer.”

“It has turned out,” he continues, “that Russia is not for Russians,” at least not for the kind of Russians he considers himself and others like him to be.

The pain that he feels in this situation is palpable, and it is a kind that is shared by many of his nature, something that all too few who look only on the official side of Russia appear to understand.

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