May 5th, 2016
The concert “Pray for Palmyra. Music revives ancient remains” by Russian conductor Valeri Gergiev is scheduled to go ahead in Palmyra, Syria on Thursday, May 5. It will open with a welcome address by the conductor. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also make an appearance via video link. Consecutive translation from Russian to English and Arabic will be provided for both.
The date of the concert coincides with the handover for burial of the remains of special forces officer Aleksander Prokhorenko, dubbed the ‘Russian Rambo,’ who died after ordering an airstrike on his own position after he was surrounded by IS fighters. His remains will depart Moscow for his home village of Gorodky, Orenburg Region, where they will be buried in a ceremony with military honours.
In April, Palmyra was recaptured by the Syrian Army from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Russian air strikes provided support to the Syrian armed forces in their re-taking of the town.