Anders Adlercreutz’s performance marked 500 days of war in Ukraine, prompting backlash from Russian officials

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As well as being Finland’s minister for European affairs, Anders Adlercreutz is also a cellist.

On Sunday 9 July 2023, Adlercreutz posted his video performance of the Ukrainian song Oi u luzi chervona kalyna/Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow on social media, marking 500 days since the Russian invasion and pledging his and Finland’s support for Ukraine.

‘500 days of unprovoked aggression, countless war crimes, lost futures – but also of encouraging success. Ukraine fights for its independence, but also for Europe’s,’ said Adlercreutz in his post. ‘Finland stands by you, today and tomorrow.’

The video concludes with the words ‘In memory of those who have given their lives for freedom.’

The post has garnered millions of views on social media, receiving numerous comments of support and appreciation from Ukrainians. ‘Thank you for standing with Ukraine in our fight for freedom,’ tweeted Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Adlercreutz started playing the cello aged eleven. Inspired by Ukrainian musicians who have used their skills to call for peace, he recorded his performance in Parliament House in Helsinki, playing different tracks which were later mixed together.

Russian officials have denounced the video, claiming it as an example of ‘Western manipulation’. Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry, said ‘Finnish government ministers are recording cello solos in support of Ukraine,’ following scepticism of Finland’s NATO membership since April 2023. 

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