Ukrainian conductor Yuri Kerbatenko was shot dead by Russian soldiers “in his own home” in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, which has been occupied since the start of the conflict, the Ukrainian culture ministry announced on Saturday.
The ministry said in a press release that the “horrific killing”, which was revealed by the media on Friday, was carried out because “Gerbatenko refused to cooperate with the aggressors”.
A planned concert
He has worked at the Kherson Regional Philharmonic since 2000, and in 2004 became the conductor of the city’s music and theater theater, named after Mykola Kulich.
“Yuri Kerbatenko made his position clear and refused to leave occupied Kherson,” the Ministry of Culture continued.
“According to media reports, on October 1, the International Day of Music, the occupiers of the Philharmonic Orchestra and their collaborators are planning a festive concert in Kherson,” the source said.
The ministry explained that the Russians “wanted the concert to be a demonstration of ‘restoring peaceful life’ in Kherson. However, the conductor of the orchestra, Yuri Kerbatenko, categorically refused to cooperate with the occupiers.”
Russia announced on Thursday that it was planning to evacuate the population of the Kherson region to its territory, saying it was responding to a request by local occupation authorities threatened by the advance of a counteroffensive by the Ukrainian army.
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