Smoke on the water, but no oversight at the ballot box

Europe’s top election-watchdog group may not have gotten the welcome it wanted from neighboring Russia, but Deep Purple—best known for its hit “Smoke on the Water”—is getting the presidential treatment. Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy company, has invited the band to perform a concert celebrating Gazprom’s 15th anniversary and the departure of company head Dmitri Medvedev. ...

596569_deeppurple_05.jpg
596569_deeppurple_05.jpg

Europe's top election-watchdog group may not have gotten the welcome it wanted from neighboring Russia, but Deep Purple—best known for its hit "Smoke on the Water"—is getting the presidential treatment. Gazprom, Russia's state-owned energy company, has invited the band to perform a concert celebrating Gazprom's 15th anniversary and the departure of company head Dmitri Medvedev.

Apparently Medvedev, Russia's president-to-be, says the '70s British rock group is his favorite band. And he's not the only Deep Purple fanboy among the Russian elite. Last year, Medvedev and 70 other Russian business and government leaders invited the band's former lead singer Joe Lynn Turner to Moscow for a secret concert during Turner's Russian tour.

The Moscow Times has reported that Putin is expected to make an appearance at the upcoming show, but it might not be his cup of tea:

Europe’s top election-watchdog group may not have gotten the welcome it wanted from neighboring Russia, but Deep Purple—best known for its hit “Smoke on the Water”—is getting the presidential treatment. Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy company, has invited the band to perform a concert celebrating Gazprom’s 15th anniversary and the departure of company head Dmitri Medvedev.

Apparently Medvedev, Russia’s president-to-be, says the ’70s British rock group is his favorite band. And he’s not the only Deep Purple fanboy among the Russian elite. Last year, Medvedev and 70 other Russian business and government leaders invited the band’s former lead singer Joe Lynn Turner to Moscow for a secret concert during Turner’s Russian tour.

The Moscow Times has reported that Putin is expected to make an appearance at the upcoming show, but it might not be his cup of tea:

Putin is known to enjoy patriotic Russian pop songs. It was not clear if the concert lineup would have anything to suit his tastes.

Lucy Moore is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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