US Secretary of State’s musical diplomacy in Kyiv

International Desk

Published: May 16, 2024, 05:49 PM

US Secretary of State’s musical diplomacy in Kyiv

Photo: Collected

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, combined diplomacy with music during his fourth visit to Kyiv since the conflict with Russia erupted in 2022.

Strumming a vibrant red Fender guitar alongside the local band 19.99, Blinken delivered Neil Young‍‍`s renowned anthem "Rockin‍‍` in the Free World." The performance was intended to inspire Ukrainians to persevere in their struggle against Russian aggression and uphold their aspirations for Western values.

The choice of song seemed fitting with its catchy refrain "Keep on rockin‍‍` in the free world." However, contrary to its upbeat sound, Young‍‍`s 1989 hit serves as a poignant commentary on the hardships faced within the so-called free world.

It highlights issues like homelessness, drug addiction, and poverty, prompting social media critics to question the appropriateness of Blinken‍‍`s musical interlude.

Oleksandr Kraiev, a Kyiv-based analyst, noted the perplexity among Ukrainians regarding Blinken‍‍`s stop at Barman Dictat. Some found it ill-timed, considering the tense wartime climate.

Blinken‍‍`s musical gesture, though well-intentioned, sparked debate over whether it conveyed the desired message of solidarity or missed the mark amidst the ongoing struggles of the Ukrainian people.

Link copied!