Perestroika anthem banned on Belarusian radio

A list of songs and words banned on the air expanded, reported a correspondent of the first Belarusian radio station. – The first place took song „Changes“ by Viktor Tsoy – said the correspondent. – It has become very popular recently. Songs „Play“ and „Belarus Freedom“ by Lapis Trubetskoy were also added to the list of already banned songs, which includes music performed by NRM, Krambabula, Krama and others. – she said.

The song „Changes“, recorded in the early 90s by a charismatic singer and his group Kino, was considered to be a youth perestroika anthem – expressing hopes for changes in the rigid Soviet Union.

„It has happened a number of times on air that a caller would request „Changes“. The host would have to apologize and refuse to play the song. One of the listeners asked angrily: Should I understand that your radio is being censored too? The journalist hosting the program was forced to disconnect the call.“ – recounted the correspondent.

Every radio journalist has a sheet of paper at their desk with words banned on air. Some time ago, a listener called the „Russian radio“ with wishes for Aleksander Grigoyevich Shosov. For Belarusians it was an obvious play of words – Aleksander Grigoyevich stood for Lukashenka, and „SHOS“ is an abbreviation for anti-regime slogan „Shchob zdokh“ (so that he dies).

„The board of the radio called us for a meeting and informed that the word „SHOS“ is banned on air, and there should be no talking of some „Aleksander Grigoyevich“. Before any wishes or information are transmitted on air, we have to look at it carefully“ – said the Belarusian radio correspondent.

Siarkhiey Budkin, coordinator of the „Tuzin Hitou“ project said that he cannot find any logical basis for such decision. „I am convinced that the ban will only lead to further publicity of the blacklisted musicians. For the audience, the banned groups are much more fascinating – it’s been confirmed a number of times already.

Budkin thinks that Tsoy’s „Changes“ can in fact become an anthem for transformation in Belarus. – You can hear it often from the cars driving by the silent protests. This song keeps returning. They tried to ban during the Soviet era, but it is still opportune. – said Budkin.


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