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Music for Donetsk

Monday, April 21, 2014 - 00:57

April 21 - Davide Martello, who became famous for playing his piano at a protest site in Turkey, performs for pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The man who became famous for playing his piano at a protest site in Turkey brought his instrument to the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday, where pro-Russian separatists continue to occupy a government building. Davide Martello became known as the Piano Man of Taksim Square when he took up residence with a baby grand piano at the Istanbul square where anti-government protesters and police clashed in 2013. Martello, an Italian pianist who lives in Germany, has taken the electric piano he constructed to cities across the world on his "Stop Killing" tour, and recently traveled to New Orleans. He says his aim is to use music to promote peace. In Donetsk, Martello arrived with his bicycle-drawn piano in the square in front of the local administration building that has been occupied by separatists, provoking arguments among some men gathered there. Pro-Russian separatists mounted a Russian flag on the piano. Martello pulled his piano further away from the occupied building and sat down to play. A group of people, including some men wearing masks, gathered around the piano, listening to the music and applauded as Martello finished his songs. Pro-Russian separatists have declared an independent "People's Republic of Donetsk" in the east's biggest province and have named themselves to official posts in towns and cities, setting up checkpoints and flying Russian flags over government buildings. An agreement between Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States reached last week to avert wider conflict in Ukraine was faltering as the new week began, with pro-Moscow separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering government buildings they have seized. The agreement calls for occupied buildings to be vacated under the auspices of envoys from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a security body. All sides are meant to refrain from force. Martello said he hoped his piano could also help bring an to end the conflict by using music to unite people. "To calm the tension. To relax. People relax and think about it. Too much confusion and people have to (be) together," Martello said. A white peace sign is painted on Martello's piano.

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Music for Donetsk

Monday, April 21, 2014 - 00:57