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Kobzar/musician Vasyl Liutyi arrested and tortured in Luhansk

kobaThe Ukrainian Kobzar community (musicians who play the kobza or the bandura) has issued the following statement:

“The Kobzar community of Ukraine is deeply worried about the fate of one of their brothers, the Kobzar and community activist Vasy Liutyi.  He was the emcee/leader of the meeting For a United Ukraine in the town of Rubizhne in Luhansk Oblast in eastern Ukraine.

“We have learned that that on April 21, during a meeting in support of a united Ukraine in the town of Rubizhne, Liutyi was severely beaten and then arrested.  During his arrest, he was tortured. We condemn the excesses of Russian chauvinists and protest against the inaction of the law enforcement authorities. We demand the immediate release of the composer and Kobzar Vasyl Liutyi.

–Professor Volodymyr Yesypok, head of the National Guild of Kobzars

— Roman Koval, writer, president of the history club Kholodnyi Yar (Cool Ravine) and member of the National Guild of Kobzars

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  A Kobzar is a player of the kobza or now, more commonly, the bandura, a multi-string Ukrainian national instrument. They have a centuries’-long history within Ukrainian culture as itinerant bards who preserved oral history and culture through their songs. They were killed en masse by Stalin’s orders in the 1930s, but in recent years, there has been a revival of the Kobzar tradition.

Translated by Olena Wawryshyn

Source: Facebook Post of Iryna Mahrytska

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