Ukraine: Belarusian singer denied entry due to Crimea concert

7 July 2016

max korzh belarus

Belarusian singer Max Korzh was denied entry into Ukraine on 17 February 2016 where he was due to go on his five-city tour in the country in early March, reported BBC Ukraine on 26 February 2016.

While organisers said the tour would be postponed until later in the year, press secretary for Ukraine’s security service Elena Gitlyanskaya stated that the singer would be banned from entering the country for five years because of performances he made in Crimea in 2014, reported Russian online news source on 26 February 2016.

Korzh posted a photo of his passport with the non-entry stamp from Boryspil airport in Kyiv on his Facebook page on 26 February 2016.

max korzh passport ukraine belarus


**UPDATE** According to a 28 June 2017 post on the artist’s Instagram page, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine sent an official letter dated 26 June 2017 to the singer stating that the ban has been lifted and he can now freely enter the country. According to his lawyer, Marina Kostenko, the singer had appealed the decision which went to court in July 2016, but that the review was “severely delayed” due to the “heavy workload” of the District Administrative Court of Kiev. Kostenko added that Korzh also no longer appears on the list of people deemed to be a threat to Ukraine’s national security.

"17.02.2016 г. при въезде в Украину в международном пункте пропуска через государственную границу для воздушного сообщения «Борисполь» гражданину Республики Беларусь Коржу Максиму было отказано в пропуске на территорию Украины на основании Постановления СБУ о запрете на въезд в Украину от 09.02. 2016 г. № 5/1/1-1864. В процессе судебного обжалования указанного Постановления в судебном заседании 19.07.2016 г. представителем СБУ были предоставлены пояснения относительно самостоятельной отмены СБУ Постановления о запрете на въезд в Украину гражданину Республики Беларусь Коржу Максиму Анатольевичу, отсутствия на данный момент каких-либо оснований для запрета, каких-либо запретов на въезд в Украину и предоставлено Постановление об отмене запрета на въезда в Украину от 30.05.2016 г. По судебному делу в связи с большой загруженностью Окружного административного суда г. Киева процесс рассмотрения был сильно затянут, что и вызвало задержку с опубликованием информации. Таким образом, на данный момент для гражданина Республики Беларусь Коржа Максима Анатольевича отсутствуют какие-либо запреты на въезд на территорию Украины. Дополнительно сообщаем, что согласно ответа Минкульта Украины на адвокатский запрос, Корж Максим Анатольевич также отсутствует в Перечне лиц, создающих угрозу национальной безопасности Украины." Костенко Марина, адвокат

A post shared by Макс Корж (@maxkorzhmus) on


Conflict creates artistic limbo
The Russia-Ukraine conflict that began in 2014, leading to the contested sovereignty of Crimea, has left artists caught in the middle of a political struggle. Artists who have performed, or plan to perform, in Crimea, or who are seen as sympathetic to either side’s position has left their works and performances banned from being heard, screened or attended in either country.

In January 2016, Italian opera singer Alessandro Safina cancelled two scheduled performances in Crimea as the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture was prepared to cancel his other dates in the country if he went through with the shows in the disputed territory.

In the spring of 2014, Ukrainian band Okean Elzi and Belarusian band Lyapis Trubetskoy had their concerts cancelled in Russia as they were both seen as sympathetic to the Ukrainian movement.

In April 2016, Ukraine also banned all Russian films and tv series released since 2014 from being screened in the country, as an amendment to its 2015 Law on Cinematography that already banned Russian military genre films.

Also in early 2016, Ukraine’s National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting removed 15 Russian tv channels from its broadcasting providers.

Photos from artist’s Facebook page


» Instagram — 28 June 2017:
Max Korzh post

» BBC Ukraine – 26 February 2016:
Singer Korzh banned in Ukraine

» – 26 February 2016:
Max Korzh denied entry to Ukraine due to a concert in the Crimea

More from Freemuse

» 6 April 2016: Ukraine: All Russian films released since 2014 banned

» 22 January 2016: Ukraine: Italian opera singer cancels concerts in Crimea

» 27 February 2015: Latvia: Russian music festival cannot play due to visa woes

» 23 February 2015: Ukraine: Three Russian films banned

» 15 December 2014: Ukraine: Ban on films featuring Russian actor who supports separatists

» 20 October 2014: Russia and Ukraine: Musicians caught between conflict, bitter rhetoric and outright bans

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