The founder of the Russian pop group Cream Soda, whose song had become an anthem for anti-war protests in the country, died by drowning on Sunday.
Dima Nova (birth name of Dmitry Svirgunov) had previously criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin's alleged $1.3 billion mansion in the Cream Soda song, "Aqua Disco."
According to Newsweek, the song was often sung at protests "before and in the early days after" Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. These protest events soon bore the moniker of "Aqua Disco Parties."
Regarding the drowning incident, Nova reportedly fell through the ice while crossing Russia's Volga River in the Yaroslavl region, northeast of Moscow.
Nova had been moving across the ice with his brother, Roma, and two other friends, according to the Russian news website People Talk.
Cream Soda broke the news of Nova's death Monday, via Instagram, along with the apparent deaths of two and possibly three other people.
"We had a tragedy last night. 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. 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," the group wrote.
On Tuesday, Cream Soda posted photos of Nova and Kiselev, writing "an official identification took place today at 9:00. Dima and Goshi are no more."
Another Nova-related Instagram post derived from Konstantin Sidorkov, the head of music and events at Russia's biggest social media platform, VK: "I lost a close friend today. [With] a lump in my throat and an impossibility to find words to describe what a bright and multifaceted person Dima was," Sidorkov wrote, while displaying a number photos featuring the pair. "An incredibly talented musician and designer with plans for the future, sincere and kind, with a big heart. Take care of yourself. Life is as fragile as ice."
Nova founded Cream Soda with Ilya Gadaev, and that duo was later joined by singer Anna Romanovskaya.
Cream Soda has enjoyed two hits over the last four years — "No More Parties" in 2019 and "Techno Is Playing And I'm Crying" in 2020.
Also, in 2017, Cream Soda released a now-eerie song entitled "Volga," in which the group talked about "going down" into the river where "I will drown."
The one "Volga" lyric: "In captivity of spring lips I will drown/I'm going down with you."
The group's most famous song, though, "Aqua Disco" involved poking fun of Putin's $1.3 billion mansion on Russia's southern Black Sea coast, through the use of funds captured through alleged government corruption.
"Putin's friends, who received from him the right to steal whatever they wanted in Russia, thanked him a lot. But they also chipped in, collected 100 billion rubles and built a palace for their boss with this money," Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in the 2021 film made by his Anti-Corruption Foundation.
Some of the rooms in the mansion video, derisively dubbed "Putin's Palace," quickly went viral as "people joked about its hookah lounge and a room with an unknown use simply called 'aquatic disco,' " according to Newsweek.
Cream Soda then created a satirical video from the song, panning Putin's mansion. The video has notched more than 8 million views on YouTube.
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