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Soviet Stars Perform For Chernobyl Relief With Chernobyl-Nuclear

May 30, 1986 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) _ Soviet stars performed for an audience of 30,000 Friday night, in the nation’s first rock benefit, to raise money for victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the vast cleanup under way in the Ukraine.

″Money is money, but we want to give our hearts,″ said Alla Pugacheva, queen of Soviet pop, in opening the 2 1/2 -hour concert at an indoor stadium built for the 1980 Summer Olympics.

The program mixed hard rock and some touches of the 1940s from the new wave band Bravo with more typically Soviet variety numbers and a poetry recital by actor Mikhail Ulyanov.


Spectators in stands that began only 80 yards from the multi-tiered stage were quiet in comparison with crowds at Western concerts. They remained in their places and applauded most performances warmly, but not wildly.

Ms. Pugacheva opened the evening with a song called ″Twentieth Century.″ She told Western reporters before the show that she thought it eventually might raise 1-1.5 million rubles ($1.4-$$2.1 million at the official rate of exchange). Tapes and records of the benefit are to be sold.

The red-haired singer then introduced a Soviet journalist, Vladimir Svetov, who presided over a satellite television link with Kiev. He presented a parade of people who had done cleanup work around the stricken nuclear power plant 80 miles north of the Ukrainian capital.

″Come on, let’s applaud every time we hear the name of that town 3/8″ Ms. Pugacheva urged as miners, firemen and others sent greetings to the Moscow audience and performers.

A Chernobyl worker later expressed ″our heartfelt thanks″ to balladeer Alexander Gradsky, whose set won a long ovation from the Moscow audience.

Also featured were the hard rock groups Kruiz (Cruise) and Avtograf (Autograph), the only act with experience in benefit shows. Avtograf took part in the Live Aid concert last July, playing a 10-minute set beamed around the world by satellite.

Neither the Live Aid concert, which raised money for famine victims in Ethiopia, a Soviet ally, nor Avtograf’s performance was shown on state television or given much publicity here.

Friday’s concert was filmed by television and may be shown at a later date, said Art Troitsky, the concert organizer and manager of Bravo.

He said Bravo had been granted official status with government concert organizations after a successful performance in Moscow’s first official rock festival this month.

The concert was called ″Account No. 904″ - the number of a Chernobyl relief account the state bank opened to receive contributions.

According to Troitsky, musicians got the idea for the concert and obtained support from Communist Party and Moscow city authorities.

Time was too short to line up Western rock stars for the show, he said, but Ms. Pugacheva said another concert might be organized in August with international participation.

She read a ″good luck″ telegram from the Swedish group Abba.

Troitsky said he would like to have an international concert including Bruce Springsteen, Julian Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and the rock group Dire Straits.

None has performed in the Soviet Union, whose leaders have given rock little encouragement or recognition until recently.

″Things are getting a little bit better for us in music,″ said a musician who would identify himself only as Sasha.