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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who is currently living in the U.S., gave a concert in Donetsk on Monday night on the occasion of the Day of Commemoration and Grief, June 22, that marks the date in 1941 on which Nazi Germany invaded the USSR.
The envisioned number of spectators at the concert was initially put at 3,000 but the Donetsk News Agency said several dozens of thousands turned out.
"I’d like to say many thanks to you for your courage, persistent work and civic position," the Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Viktor Zakharchenko said addressing the pianist.
"I may be somewhat inexact in the wording but I’d like to repeat your phrase - the most horrible thing for any country is when neighbors are trying to kill each other," he said. "A year has passed and Ukraine still is under the sway of the very same oligarchs, it is bedeviled by the same economic disarray and impoverishment, the number of casualties runs into thousands, and the number of refugees has gotten over a million."
"And you Valentina will surely go down in history as a courageous person who came here to the frontline," Zakharchenko said.
Valentina Lisitsa in her turn thanked the people of Donetsk for the warm reception given to her. She pointed out the staying power displayed by Donbass in the current confrontation with fascism.
"You’re standing on the frontline and defending the entire world, the whole of mankind from the brown plague that’s raising its head again," she said. "Thank you very much for this. I almost wept with joy because it was so wonderful to be with you here today."
The requiem concert was held in the Lenin Komsomol Park of the city. The pianist was accompanied by the symphony orchestra of the Donetsk Philharmonic Society.
Considering the big inflow of audiences to the park, the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic put off the start of the curfew on Monday.
Classical music was accompanied by cleverly conceived lighting effects and the transmission of visual scenes to huge screens.
Valentina Lisitsa, a native of Kiev, moved to the U.S. in 1991. A the beginning of April 2015, the directorate of Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Canada dismissed her from programme on the face of her principled position regarding the conflict in Donbass.