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Michael Jackson is Mourned in Russia

8. July 2009 by Celeste 0 Comments

If Americans think they are alone in their heartache over Michael Jackson’s recent passing, they may be surprised to find their grief shared by the people of Russia and Ukraine. From a candlelight vigil held in Moscow days after the King of Pop’s death to a reported proposal to re-name a village in eastern Ukraine after Jackson, evidence of the region’s infatuation can be seen everywhere.


Jackson’s 1993 performance in Moscow made him the first international pop star to perform in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union two years earlier. Up until then, it had been illegal to even purchase his songs. His concert seemed to spark a love for all things American in a generation of young Russians, many of whom had never even seen an image of him before the performance.


Now that the man who brought American music and pop culture to Moscow has passed away, many Russian and Ukrainian fans mourn the absence of another cultural icon. Even if his English lyrics were not understood, the energy in his music and images in his videos speaks in a universal language that people all over the world can understand and appreciate.


A makeshift shrine honoring the King of Pop can be seen near the American Embassy in Moscow, honoring the man whose music and life touched the world.