On Friday, December 30, me mbers of the Schiller Institute Chorus gathered in front of the Consulate of the Russian Federation in Manhattan to pay tribute to the victims of the Christmas day Black Sea crash of the TU-154 plane carrying nearly the entirety of the famous Alexandrov Ensemble, and several others, including a beloved doctor, Dr. Elizaveta Glinka (“Dr. Liza”) who was on her way to deliver medical supplies to the children of Syria. They sang the Russian National Anthem, which was composed in 1942 by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov, the founder of the chorus.
This performance went viral on YouTube, generating thousands of comments including: “This is what is called human values. These peoples did more for Russian-American relations in several minutes than Obama’s administration for 8 years.”
The performance was done on the same day that the Obama Administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and their families to leave the United States within 72 hours, in the middle of the holiday season. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by inviting the children of U.S. diplomats in Russia to join him for the holidays in the Kremlin. This action, or non-action, by Putin made Obama’s pathetic, shrinking, lame-duck stature all the more obvious to the rest of the world.
Message of Condolence to the Alexandrov Ensemble and the People of Russia
Alexandrov Choir and Yosif Kobzon sing in Warsaw, October 2009. [photo: Loraine/commons.wikimedia.org]