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Pro-Ukraine Activist Climbs Onto NYC Opera Stage, Likens Putin To Hitler

  • RFE/RL

A protester climbed onto the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City after a performance by Russian classical music titans Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev and held up a sign criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine.

Pro-Ukrainian activist Roman Torgovitsky walked onto the stage as Netrebko and the cast received an ovation following their January 29 performance of the Gergiev-conducted Tchaikovsky opera Iolanta.

Netrebko came under fire from critics last year after appearing in public together with Oleg Tsaryov, a leader of pro-Russian separatists fighting in Ukraine.

Gergiev last year signed an open letter published by Russia's culture ministry expressing "firm" support for the Kremlin's Ukraine policy.

Torgovitsky, who showed the audience a sign likening Putin to Adolf Hitler, was arrested after the protest, a friend of his told RFE/RL. He could not be immediately reached for comment.