A video has emerged online of a Chinese woman, who claimed to be an opera singer, Wang Fang, singing “Katyusha,” amidst the ruins of Mariupol's Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theatre.

The theatre was destroyed by Russian bombing in March last year. Wang was with a number of Chinese bloggers who had entered the city, which is currently occupied by the Russian Federation.

Ukraine is demanding an explanation from Beijing. 

On Sept 7, Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to the exiled mayor of Mariupol, shared a video of the woman singing on his Telegram channel.

“Haven't there been any dances on the graves of Mariupol's residents for a long time? Here you are,” he said.

“The Russians brought a so-called ‘famous’ Chinese opera singer, Wang Fang, to Mariupol - so famous that not even Google recognizes her - and she performed the song ‘Katyusha’ amidst the ruins of the Drama Theater.”

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“I hope the spirits of the more than 600 Mariupol residents killed by the Russians liked it so much that they will haunt her with horrors for the rest of her life.”

Andryushchenko called for a response from the Ukrainian Border Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the illegal entry of a Chinese citizen.

He didn’t have to wait long for a reaction. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Ministry of Legal Affairs, stated on his Facebook page: “The performance of the song ‘Katyusha’ by the Chinese ‘opera singer’ Wang Fang at the ruins of the drama theater in Mariupol, where the Russian army killed more than 600 innocent people, is an example of complete moral degradation.”

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According to him, she was with a group of Chinese bloggers who had also arrived in Mariupol. Their entry is illegal and violates Ukrainian legislation governing the crossing of the state border by foreigners, the ministry's spokesman added. 

Nikolenko said that Ukraine is awaiting an explanation from China, saying: “Ukraine respects China's territorial integrity and expects an explanation from the Chinese side regarding the purpose of the presence of Chinese citizens in Mariupol and the means by which they reached the temporarily occupied Ukrainian city.”

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Furthermore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine will initiate a ban on entry into Ukraine for the Chinese “tourists” who illegally visited Mariupol.

Kyiv Post attempted to find information about this Chinese opera singer. China has a renowned opera diva named Wang Fang who has even published an autobiography, but is much older than the so-called “star,” who seems to have the same name and performed in Mariupol.

Kyiv Post attempted to contact the Chinese embassy in Ukraine for comment, but there were no answers on any of the numbers listed on the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

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