Last weekend, Olga Korolova fled her home in Chernihiv, Ukraine, with her daughter, her dog, and whatever else she could put in two bags.
“I drove like crazy,” she says. “I saw a bomb and in my head, I could only think: ‘Go to the baby'”.She drove her for hours and eventually she crossed the Polish border, where she booked a concert that same evening.Korolova, one of the best tech DJs in Ukraine, tops her setlist and has only played music from other Ukrainian artists.”I cried on stage,” she told. “I played and called. It was the hardest series of my life, but I knew I had to do something.Korolova donated her compensation to the Ukrainian army and to charities that helped displaced people in the conflict. The next night, she hosted a special fundraising meeting on her YouTube channel.
Her Instagram page of hers, which once featured glamorous travel photos and images of a nightclub, now features some updates from Ukraine and images of the Russian invasion.It aims to show the extent of the destruction to fans, especially Russian fans.”I’m surprised the Russians don’t see the truth,” she said. “They seem to be in North Korea with no information. My fans from Russia are texting me saying, ‘That’s not true. It’s a lie. All your messages are a lie.’ You don’t want to see it. “Korolova is not alone.
Faced with the war, Ukraine’s vibrant music scene is an unofficial medium, documenting the conflict to audiences who may not be watching traditional news channels.”Now everyone is talking to their audience through social media,” says country singer Khrystyna Soloviy.”We release information about the events in the cities, we try to persuade the Russians to participate in the demonstrations and tell them that this is Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine.”On YouTube, hundreds of Ukrainian artists have replaced their video with a miniature image of the country’s flag, with the following words: “While watching this video, Ukrainians are dying from the Russian attack. To stop. “ Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, leader of Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy, posts hourly updates on the conflict on Facebook. In a video he visits wounded soldiers in the hospital; in another, he wears a vest with a bullet and gives a speech in the streets of Kharkiv; in another, he delivers food and fuel to Kyiv in his car.
“I’m an important person in this part of the world and I want to take advantage of that [position] and whatever I can do,” he says.