Mikhail Arkadyev, the outgoing conductor of Vladivostok’s Pacific Symphony Orchestra, said he was told his contract would not be renewed after he spoke out against his professional trade union joining a new political movement widely thought to be part of Mr Putin’s campaign to regain the Russian presidency next year.
“I was unexpectedly informed that my annual contract would not be renewed,” the 53-year-old conductor told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper. “I was not told why, but I believe my refusal to have anything to do with the All-Russian People’s Front (Mr Putin’s movement) played a part.”
Mr Arkadyev, who publicly called the movement “odious and baneful,” said the local Kremlin-backed authorities had also found an anti-Putin article he had written on the internet a few years ago and had discovered that he had been among the first to sign an online petition demanding that Mr Putin exit politics. Telegraph