Russian rap artist blacklisted in Latvia

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A Russian-speaking resident of Estonia, Artemy Ivanov aka rapper 'Temada', who caused outrage among many Rīga residents by holding street concerts in Russian during the Easter holidays, has been denied entry into Latvia, Latvian Television reported on May 11.

According to unofficial information available to Latvian Television (LTV), on May 9, following the recommendation of the State Security Service (VDD), the Minister of the Interior decided to include the performer in the list of personae non gratae of Latvia. The VDD recommended this due to the artist's actions which could have posed risks to state security.

“The information obtained by the State Security Service indicates this person’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for Russia’s humanitarian influence measures,” VDD said.

Artemy Ivanov is a non-citizen (alien) of Estonia, and a citizen of Russia. His permanent residence is in Estonia, but the musician often visits Latvia.

After the previous performance in Bastejkalns, the rapper claimed in a telephone interview with LTV that his concerts are pure entertainment without political subtexts.

The decision to blacklist him was made on May 9.

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