Friday, May 6, 2016

Vladimir Putin's Friend Sergei Roldugin Performs in Palmyra, Syria

An associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin implicated in the "Panama Papers" performed a classical piece on the ruins of a historic Syrian city on Thursday.

Cellist Sergei Roldugin soloed his way through a dance tune by obscure 20th-century Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin. The performance was part of a classical concert by the famous Mariinsky Orchestra celebrating the liberation of Palmyra from ISIS.

The orchestra, which hails from Putin's home city of St. Petersburg, performed three pieces in the historic amphitheater of Palmyra, which once hosted Roman plays.

The orchestra was greeted by Putin, via video, and cheered by a crowd including UNESCO dignitaries, Russian and Syrian troops, Muslim and Christian clergy and a smattering of locals, including enthusiastic children in national getup.