According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, Russians fatally shot Ukrainian music conductor Yuri Kerpatenko in his own home for refusing to participate in a concert planned in Kherson, Ukraine.
“Yuri Kerpatenko openly displayed his civic position and refused to leave occupied Kherson,” the ministry confirmed in a Facebook post on Saturday. The identity of the person or group responsible for his death was not revealed.
Kerpatenko, who has been with the Kherson Regional Philharmonic since 2000, was asked to collaborate with philharmonic collaborators as well as Russians who planned the October 1 concert featuring the Kherson Philharmonic’s chamber orchestra “Gilea.”
“The occupiers intended for this concert to demonstrate the so-called “improvement of peaceful life” in Kherson. However, the orchestra’s conductor, Yuri Kerpatenko, flatly refused to work with the occupants “The ministry continued. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to Yuri’s family and colleagues. Memory that lasts forever.”
According to the culture ministry, Kerpatenko was the chief conductor of the Kherson music drama theater named after playwright Mykola Kulish and the main conductor of the Gilea Chamber Orchestra.
According to his Facebook account, Kerpatenko had frequently written posts about the invasion of Ukraine up until May. “The essence of Ukraine is freedom in a broad sense,” he wrote on April 25.
Kerpatenko’s relatives outside of Kherson lost contact with him in September, according to The Guardian, citing a criminal investigation launched by the regional prosecutor’s office.
Several artists, including Finnish-Ukrainian music conductor Dalia Stasevska, condemned his death, telling The Guardian that “Russia’s history of imposing a “comply or die” policy on artists is not new. It has a long history dating back hundreds of years.”
“I’ve witnessed far too much silence from my Russian colleagues,” she added. “Would this be the time for Russian musicians, particularly those living and working abroad, to finally stand up and condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine?”
Meanwhile, American-Ukrainian musician Vlad De Briansky addressed the conductor’s death in a Facebook post, calling it “terrible news.”
During the ongoing conflict, many Ukrainian civilians have been injured or killed, with some dying as a result of military strikes aimed at the Ukrainian army. Ukrainian authorities told Newsweek earlier this year that they are investigating approximately 5,000 cases of civil object damage, 2,000 illegal civilian deaths and injuries, and 166 cases of torture. Furthermore, the prosecutor general’s office has identified 600 Russians, mostly soldiers, who are suspected of rape, torture, and murder.
Despite the losses, Ukraine has had a number of successes in recent weeks during its counteroffensive operations. The country reclaimed a number of Russian-occupied territories, liberating areas such as parts of the Kherson region and the Luhansk village of Makiivka. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military is dealing with poor leadership, unmotivated troops, and equipment and armor shortages.
Following fresh Russian missile strikes across Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged G7 leaders to “respond symmetrically.”
“When Russia attacks our energy sector and energy stability, we must block its energy sector with sanctions and disrupt Russian revenues from oil and gas trade,” Zelenskyy said, referring to Russia’s missile strikes on critical Ukrainian energy facilities.