Roger Waters scraps Poland shows amid fury at his blaming Ukraine extremists for war

Waters holds ‘extreme nationalists’ in Kyiv responsible for the conflict, along with Western allies for adding fuel to the fire by supplying weapons; urges concessions to Russia

Roger Waters performs at the United Center in Chicago, July 26, 2022. (Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)
Roger Waters performs at the United Center in Chicago, July 26, 2022. (Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has canceled concerts planned in Poland amid outrage over his stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine, Polish media reported Saturday.

An official with the Tauron Arena in Krakow, where Waters was scheduled to perform two concerts in April, said they would no longer take place.

“Roger Waters’ manager decided to withdraw … without giving any reason,” Lukasz Pytko from Tauron Arena Krakow said Saturday in comments carried by Polish media outlets.

The website for Waters’ “This Is Not a Drill” concert tour did not list the Krakow concerts previously scheduled for April 21-22.

City councilors in Krakow were expected to vote next week on a proposal to name Waters as a persona non grata, expressing “indignation” over the musician’s stance on the war in Ukraine.

Waters wrote an open letter to Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska early this month in which he blamed “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine for having “set your country on the path to this disastrous war.” He also criticized the West for supplying Ukraine with weapons, charging they were throwing fuel on the fire, and blamed Washington in particular.

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska pays her respects as she passes the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Westminster in London on September 18, 2022. (Jacob King/POOL/AFP)

“In this case, most of the fuel is (a) being thrown into the fire from Washington DC, which is at a relatively safe distance from the conflagration, and (b) because the ‘fuel throwers’ have already declared an interest in the war going on for as long as possible,” Waters wrote.

The controversial rockstar added that President Volodymyr Zelensky should adhere to the platform he campaigned on in the 2019 election, in which he promoted dialogue with Russia and autonomy for separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Waters has in the past also criticized NATO, accusing it of provoking Russia. Despite the absence of an immediate threat from the alliance, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Waters is no stranger to controversy, particularly for his blistering criticism of Israel and support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In 2013, the Anti-Defamation League concluded that Walters held antisemitic views.

The Pink Floyd founder has urged artists to boycott Israel and has equated Jerusalem’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to the treatment of people of color in apartheid South Africa. At his concerts, Walters in the past used a pig-shaped balloon with Jewish symbols, including a Star of David.

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