Russians kill orchestra conductor for refusing to join concert in Kherson, Ukraine says

Russian troops shot and killed an orchestra conductor who refused to perform at a concert Russia allegedly staged in the occupied southern region of Kherson, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine said in a Facebook post that it confirmed Friday that Russian soldiers shot Yuri Kerpatenko in his own home.

Kerpatenko, the main conductor of the Gileya Chamber Orchestra, refused a Russian invitation to perform a concert with the orchestra group “to demonstrate the so-called ‘improvement of peaceful life’ in Kherson,” according to the ministry.

The late conductor was also affiliated with the Kherson Regional Philharmonic and the Mykola Kulish Kherson Music and Drama Theater in the region.

Ukrainian journalist Olena Vanina first reported the news on Thursday and was cited by the cultural ministry.

The war in Ukraine has dragged on for more than eight months and has killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and thousands of soldiers on both sides.

Fighting continues to rage in eastern and southern region of the country, including in and around Kherson.