PTVP & Bozhe, khrani Putina eh, Tsaria…

While chopping away some parts of my dissertation I stumbled upon a short paragraph on the Vyborg/St. Petersburg based punk band Posledniye Tanki v Parizhe (Last Tanks in Paris, a.k.a. PTVP). The group was one of the few locally successful (in terms of playing for an audience of 200-400 listeners) St. Petersburg bands who during my stay in St. Petersburg (2004-2006) was openly critical towards the government and their policies.

I managed to hear them a couple of times. One of the concerts I attended they hosted together with the Hip-Hop group 2H Company and the reggae group S.O.K. at Red Club (a mid-sized St. Petersburg club) on 18.09.2006. Among the songs performed there was one referring to Putin called “Prava cheloveka” (The right of the individual – the song is on their 2007 album “Svoboda Slova”).

In an interview following the concert with the vocalist and lyricist Aleksei Nikonov the music journalist Sergei Chernov (St. Petersburg Times) quotes the verse of that song (I added the Russian lyrics and put the lines in the right order):

Bozhe, khrani Putina ot nashego prezreniia (God save Putin from our contempt)
Bozhe, khrani Putina i ego pokolenie (God save Putin and his generation,)
Putin – eto vlast’, ona diktuet zakony (Putin is the power, it dictates the laws)
Putin – eto ty, Putin – eto milliony (Putin is you, Putin is millions,)

While Chernov places the song close to Sex Pistols “God save the Queen” the song’s refrain Bozhe Khrani Putina (God Save Putin) for me points to the Tsar’s national anthem “Bozhe, Tsaria khrani” and is thus similar to MP44’s “Avtoritsarizm” which I discussed in the post Bozhe, Tsaria khrani & MP44.

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