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Minsk Hosts Benefit

Even snow could not dampen the spirits of 8,000 enthusiastic locals who assembled here for a massive Live Aid concert to benefit the young victims of Chernobyl.

Staged at the Dynamo Stadium, less than 200 miles from the site of the nuclear disaster, the two-day event (April 24 and 25) offered a roster of 14, mostly Western, bands. Throughout the 7 1/2 hours of music, phalanxes of military and police uniforms flanked the crowd in triple rows.

Soviet bands such as Time Machine and Nautilus Pompilius exhorted the overthrow of President Mikhail Gorbachev and the return of the Baltic states. Igor Talkov got the biggest response with a number punning the acronym for the Russian Communist Party with the fascist SS.

U.S. and U.K. bands – including China Crisis and Echo & the Bunnymen – proved musically more diverse than their Soviet counterparts. Children, rain forests and world harmony emerged as key Western concerns.

Liverpool-based event organizer Dmitri Korziouk said a follow-up gig is planned for London’s Wembley Stadium. However, some Russian artists expressed doubts that they would get exit visas for the U.K. event. An album is in the works, and the concert was lensed for a tv broadcast.

Korziouk hopes that £ 100,000 ($170,000) will be raised.

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