Back in August, Waters appeared on CNN and defended his decision to label US President Joe Biden a "war criminal" in a segment of his current This Is Not A Drill tour, stating his belief that Biden is "fuelling the war in the Ukraine" and insisting that the US President is committing a "huge crime" by not encouraging Ukrainian President Zelensky to negotiate with Russia to bring an end to the conflict.
"This war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border," Waters told his CNN host Michael Smerconish, "which they promised they wouldn't do when [Mikhail] Gorbachev negotiated the withdrawal of the USSR from the whole of Eastern Europe."
In the wake of this interview, Waters claimed to have been placed on an Ukrainian government-sanctioned 'Kill List' as an "Enemy of Ukraine".
The 'list' that Waters is referring to is stored on the NSFW website Myrotvorets ('Peacemaker'), which, in addition to posting graphic photos of dead Russian soldiers, allegedly features around 187,000 names of people critical of the Ukrainian government, alongside their home address, phone numbers and contact details. The left-wing UK website The Canary actually identified Waters' name on the list in an article published in May, stating that the musician was on the database as he is accused of "Anti-Ukrainian propaganda. An attempt on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Participation in attempts to legalize the annexation of Crimea by Russia."
Various websites have reported the allegation that when someone on this database is killed, citing the case of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli, who was shot dead in 2014, the Ukrainian word ЛИКВИДИРОВАН [translating as “LIQUIDATED] is stamped across their picture. Those running the site, however, claim that the database exists only to provide “information for law enforcement authorities and special services", specifically the Sluzhba Bespeky Ukrayiny (SBU), the Security Service of Ukraine.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Waters references the fact that his name remains on the site, and shares his belief that at least some of the news reporting from the frontline in Ukraine is "western propaganda".
"Don't forget, I'm on a kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government," he tells Rolling Stone. "I'm on the fucking list and they've killed people recently. There was that young Dugina woman [29-year-old Darya Dugina, killed in a car bomb outside Moscow in August] in Paris who I think they were trying to bomb her father. No, in Moscow. They were trying to bomb her father-in-law [her father Aleksandr, a right wing political commentator/philosopher] and they killed her. But when they kill you, they write liquidated across your picture. Well, I'm one of those fucking pictures."
"Don't run away with the idea that the reporting that you are getting is real," Waters adds.
"It's an unnecessary war," he continues. "And those people should not be dying. And Russia should not have been encouraged to invade the Ukraine after they tried for 20 years to avoid it by suggesting diplomatic measures to Western governments."
Waters recently published as 'open letter' to Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska, in which he claims that "extreme nationalists" in Ukraine "have set your country on the path to this disastrous war", whist accusing her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, of failing to fulfil his election campaign promises to bring peace to the Donbas region.
In response, Mrs Zelenska tweeted that it was the Russian invasion of Ukraine that was destroying its cities and killing civilians, stating, "Roger Waters, you should ask for peace from the president of another country."
Waters will bring his This Is Not A Drill tour to the UK next year. He will launch his UK mini-tour in Birmingham on May 31 at the Utilita Arena, before moving on to Glasgow’s OVO Hydro on June 2 and performing at London’s The O2 on June 6.