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Valentina Lisitsa performing in London
Valentina Lisitsa performing in London
Manuel Brug

BERLIN – A concert hall or the Internet? For any fan of classical music, the choice is easy. Music is played in the city, in a beautiful hall or chamber.

You dress up a little for a 45 + 45 minute program, plus some encores, and down a glass of Champagne during the intermission. Leafing through the program – perhaps even some socializing – is also part of the occasion. No question about it, this bourgeois ritual is alive and well. And the careers of the great classical performers are still largely made on the concert circuit, nurtured by agents, their recording labels, and the press.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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