Russia Artists and Putin

February 3, 2013 - 4:30 AM
FILE- In this Jan. 24, 2013, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with famous Russian musician Yuri Bashmet on his 60th birthday, at the Kremlin in Moscow. When famed viola player Yuri Bashmet declared that he "adored" President Vladimir Putin, he stirred little controversy in a country where classical musicians have often curried favor with the political elite. But political drama spilled into the orchestra pit last month when Bashmet refused to condemn a new law prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian children, and in response the beloved singer Sergei Nikitin canceled his appearance at a concert celebrating the violist’s 60th birthday. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File)