Accessibility links

Breaking News

Soviet-Era Rock Star's Monument In Almaty Used To Express Protest


Viktor Tsoi and his group, Kino, were hugely popular in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, with their song Changes becoming a symbol of Soviet youth's hopes for freedom and political change. 

Unidentified persons have attached a bilingual cardboard sign to the statue of Soviet-era rock star Viktor Tsoi in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, in an apparent gesture of protest ahead of a snap presidential election.

The sign, reading "Changes" in Russian and "Kazakh spring" in Kazakh, was spotted attached to the statue's right hand early on May 30.

There was no claim of responsibility for the appearance of the sign, but the opposition group Rukh2k19 posted on Instagram a short video of the statue, with the caption, "We've been waiting for changes for 30 years, and now it is time for us to make them ourselves."

Tsoi and his group, Kino, were hugely popular in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, with their song Changes becoming a symbol of Soviet youth's hopes for freedom and political change.

Posters have appeared in recent weeks in Almaty, Nur-Sultan, the capital, and other cities, with slogans challenging the government amid discontent with the political system that has been dominated by the former president, Nursultan Nazarbaev, since the Soviet era.

Several young men and women were accused by authorities of displaying those posters and were temporarily detained under the charge of violating legislation on public events.

Nazarbaev announced his resignation from the presidency in March but he retained wide-ranging powers.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL

    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 26 languages in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

XS
SM
MD
LG