There is an "Evening Bullshitter" on Russia's airwaves. The question is: Who is it?
Legendary rocker Boris Grebenshchikov leaves few clues in his new song about a mysterious individual one can tune in to at night "when you don't know what to believe."
He will tell us what he was ordered to
He will answer all our questions
Although we're poor, we all must be sure
We have proven that we are the best!"
He is gleaming like a new coin
And shining today as before
And even when crooks nail Jesus on the cross
He'll explain why Jesus is a foe
The Evening Bullshitter,
The Evening Bullshitter,
When one needs the truth, he is there for you
The Evening Bullshitter
The graybeard Grebenshchikov, who earned his stripes as a counterculture icon when he founded the underground rock band Akvarium more than four decades ago in the Soviet Union, hasn't let on whom, exactly, the song released on October 1 is about.
But it didn't take long for the Russian audience to gather that the song -- centered on the vulgar Russian pejorative mudozvon, which translates loosely to bullshitter -- was about an evening television talk-show personality.
WATCH: Grebenshchikov singing Evening M.
And that pointed to two main suspects: Vladimir Solovyov of state-owned Rossia-1's Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov current-affairs talk show; or Ivan Urgant of state-controlled Channel One's late-night talk show Evening Urgant.
Urgant devoted nearly two minutes of his monologue on October 1 to the "scandal" over Grebenshchikov's new song -- saying it was clear that it was about a TV host, but expressing bewilderment at which one it could be.
Urgant concluded by saying that he would love to invite Grebenshchikov on the show to sing his new song, but that "unfortunately, corporate policy prevents us from performing songs about hosts of other channels."
That barb was clearly directed at Urgant's Rossia-1 competitor, but Solovyov disputed that the song was about him.
Rather, he suggested in comments to the Telegram channel Podyom on October 2, the specific use of the adjectival form of "evening" in the song's title pointed to it being about Urgant.
“We have a specific program on television whose first word is 'evening,'" said Solovyov, who often serves as a bullhorn for the Kremlin line. "And I believe that Boris Borisovich [Grebenshchikov] completely and undeservedly insulted the wonderful, subtle, smart host of Channel One."
Solovyov added that he "will protect him [Urgant] from such unjust attacks." On October 4, he took the offensive by posting a photograph on his Telegram channel of Grebenshchikov with a man Solovyov alleged to be a Ukrainian Banderite -- a slur used to denote supporters of militant Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.