Russian pop star Dima Nova was found dead from drowning on Sunday after criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was 34.
Born Dmitry Svirgunov, Nova founded the popular electronic group Cream Soda — whose song “Aqua Disco” became an anthem for anti-war protests in Russia, Newsweek reported.
In the song, the pop group called out Putin over his alleged $1.3 billion mansion. The song was commonly heard at protests against the country both before and after Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. These protests became known as “Aqua Disco Parties.”
According to the song’s lyrics, “[Aqua disco]” is a wild hedonistic pool party for one,” Calvertjournal.com reported. One of the lyrics read, “The king of leisure,/ I will feel super here.” Another read, “Aqua Disco,/ Here I am by the word super,/ Add duper.”
The report cited an article in a Russian news website People Talk that said Nova fell through the ice while crossing the Volga river in the Yaroslavl region, north east of Moscow. Svirgunov was not alone – he was reportedly with his brother Roma and a couple friends.
The translated caption next to Cream Soda’s post on Instagram about Dima’s death and another person in the accident read, “An official introduction took place today at 9:00. Dima and Goshi are no more.”
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“We had a tragedy last night,” the pop group’s post explained, the outlet noted. “Our Dima Nova, in the company of friends, was walking along the Volga and fell under the ice.”
“The Ministry of Emergency Situations are still looking for his brother Roma and friend, Gosha Kiselev,” it added. “Aristarchus, our friend who also fell under the ice, was caught, but could not be saved. As soon as we have information from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, we will inform you.”
“Aqua Disco” was not only heard at protests against Russia in the early days of the war but also at demonstrations against the jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in 2021, the outlet noted.
At the time, thousands of protestors were arrested by police during the protests, which were not sanctioned by Russian officials, the report noted.