Kremlin considers incubator for patriotic pop artists

Kremlin considers incubator for patriotic pop artists
Vladimir Kiselyov's band Zemlyane, circa 1984

28 July 2015

The Russian government is considering a proposal to create a media holding company to promote Russian singers with pro-Kremlin views.

The proposal was submitted by Vladimir Kiselyov, former drummer of the Soviet-era “space rock” band Zemlyane and now head of the controversial Federation Fund, and Olga Plaksina, chairman of the board of the Russian Media Group, in a letter to President Vladimir Putin. In the letter, Mr Kiselyov and Ms Plaksina called for the creation of a company that would become an “incubator for local superstars”.

According to the letter, it is important that local artists be promoted over those of the west and that they convey the right “patriotic” messages.

The proposed media holding would comprise five radio stations and a music TV channel, supporting the government’s ideological goals by promoting patriotic artists and collaborating with Russia’s major music television channels.

At the end of June, it was announced that the IFD-Kapital investment holding company intends to sell its 78 percent share in Russian Media Group to state-run concert organiser Goskontsert, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Culture. Russian Media Group runs the country’s largest FM radio station Russkoe Radio, the music TV channel Ru.TV along with numerous other radio stations. In their proposal, Kiselyov and Plaksina suggested that the task of setting up the patriotic new media should also be delegated to Goskontsert.

President Putin has instructed his first deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, to look into the project.