Singer Olya Polyakova: We need to remove any reason to associate Russians with Ukrainians, even my hits in Russian
Ukrainian singer Olya Polyakova in an interview with UNIAN told where the war found her, what she felt when she sang the Ukrainian anthem at a charity football match, how she treats disgraced stars and how she sees Ukraine after our victory.
When I ask people how they knew that the war had begun, someone says that they guessed that something like this would happen, someone - that they overslept. How was it for you?
Around five in the morning I woke up from two explosions. Didn't understand what it was. They were in the distance, deaf, but, nevertheless, they were able to wake me up.
An hour later, a nanny came to my room with my children and said terrible words: "Olya, get up, the war has begun." That's how we learned about the war. All this did not fit in my head at all. How is this possible? For what? But be that as it may, it happened to all of us, finally and irrevocably, changing the life of every Ukrainian.
From the first day of the Russian invasion, you have been fighting on the information front. For the truth about the war in Ukraine, you were blocked on Instagram. Why do you think the Russians do not want to know the truth about what is happening in Ukraine?
How can you find out the truth and then feel like people? It remains only to either go over to our side and defend us, or hang yourself. They don't want to do either, so it's easier not to know.
How can you live in peace, remain a man, knowing that the representatives of your government unleashed a war, as they consider "in a brotherly country"? Nobody wants to admit that they are bastards and animals. Although my daughter Alice says: "Mom, do not compare Russians with animals, animals are much kinder."
Do you have relatives or friends in Russia? How do you communicate now?
I don’t communicate with anyone in the Russian Federation. Only two wrote words of support, said they were sorry that this happened, and offered to help. Relatives did not show up at all.
Today we do not need to think about how we communicate or not to communicate, now we need to understand how to survive and survive.
I am sure that our victory is in the strength of the spirit of our people, - Polyakova / instagram.com/polyakovamusic
Where are you right now?
Now I am abroad. The first few weeks I was in Kyiv, then I spent a week in western Ukraine. At some point, we decided to take the children to a safer place. Now I am outside of Ukraine and I travel all over Europe with charity concerts, charity matches with the Ukrainian team Shakhtar.
You said that now every Ukrainian needs to survive and survive. What do you think, and what can help us win this war?
I am sure that our victory is in the strength of the spirit of our people, our soldiers, doctors, volunteers and in our righteousness. The truth is on our side. It's one thing to attack, another to defend. When you defend your country, home, family, your children, this is always sacred. There is also a lot of support from other countries: the imposition of sanctions, the supply of weapons, financial assistance. All this helps Ukraine step by step to gain victory. The whole world is on our side.
You are personally acquainted with President Zelensky. Are you talking to him now? Have you written words of support for him?
Unfortunately, I do not have personal access to Vladimir Alexandrovich now, but on my social networks I have expressed words of support to the president many times. Today we are all together. The president is with the people, and the people are with their president. And this is strength. During this time, he showed himself as an incredible leader, a warrior of light with a steel character, strength and a thirst for freedom, a thirst to be with his people.
And how do you feel about artists who chose a career in Russia rather than defending their native Ukraine?
I don't even want to remember their names. They must forever disappear from our universe. The right to be called a Ukrainian, a representative of such a strong and brave people, must be earned: by your position, by your actions. This is a great title. They have no right to be called Ukrainians. Therefore, let's cross out their names and their work forever from our lives.
The right to be called a Ukrainian, a representative of such a strong and brave people, must be earned, - Polyakova / instagram.com/polyakovamusic
At a football match in Poland, as part of the tour of the Shakhtar team, you sang the anthem of Ukraine. How do Europeans feel about the war in Ukraine?
Everyone knows about the war in Ukraine, everyone feels incredible sympathy and solidarity, in some countries more, in some less. Poland and Germany help us a lot: they provide social assistance to refugees, free travel, many families have opened their doors to Ukrainians… They provide us with many different benefits. Let's not forget about it and tell them "thank you!".
As for the charity tour, singing the anthem of Ukraine is an incredible responsibility and pride. To be involved in the symbol of our country gives a feeling of absolute happiness. I am proud that I have the right and the opportunity to sing the anthem of my country around the world.
Do you think the words in our hymn "Let us lay down our soul and body for our freedom" can be called prophetic?
These words have always been prophetic, because Ukraine has always defended its territories, stood for freedom. Ukrainians are a very freedom-loving people who are ready to "lay down their soul and body" for their freedom. It is very bitter to realize that war has fallen to the fate of our generation, and that in action we are proving our readiness to sacrifice our "soul and body" for the sake of freedom. We have no other choice: either we will defend ourselves, or we will be enslaved, and we cannot be slaves.
Recently, the Cabinet proposed to change the text of the anthem. What do you think about it?
I believe in the power of the word. I cannot unambiguously answer this question. I know for sure that words are of great importance and, perhaps, if our anthem is more positive, maybe it will be easier for our country. But this is our DNA, we are. Fate always gives us reasons to prove what we are ready for for the sake of freedom.
Do you support the ban on Russian music in Ukraine?
Yes, I support. Since they are protecting the Russian-speakers here by killing the Russian-speaking cities, it means that we need to remove any reason to associate ourselves with us, to call ourselves our "brothers". I, as a Russian-speaking singer, understand: everything that I did before is now impossible. And, of course, I feel sorry for my absolutely golden, imperishable hits, but, nevertheless, I am more a citizen of Ukraine and a patriot than just a singer, so I am ready for these sacrifices.
Polyakova: "Singing the anthem of Ukraine is an incredible responsibility and pride" / instagram.com/polyakovamusic
Tell us, how did the war affect you personally and your family?
Exactly the same as for everyone. Nothing will be the same as before, every single person in Ukraine has lost the ground under their feet, they have lost the opportunity to work, many have lost the opportunity to live in their homes, they have lost all the peaceful way that we had before the war. I had to leave my home, part with my husband, I miss Ukraine very much, I have never experienced such love and such sadness in my life. We really want to go home, and we will definitely return home very soon.
In your social networks, you said that the invaders shot your daughter's friend. What advice would you give to Ukrainians who have lost loved ones due to the war?
This is the worst thing that can be. I can say that I worry about absolutely every lost life, every tear shed by Ukrainians. I can't find the words, I don't know what to say. It hurts so much that it's impossible to find words.
I know for sure that for every victim, for every tear we will avenge.
What is helping you keep going right now?
Only faith that everything will end and we will return home.
Tell us about your online project. How many video messages have already been recorded, how do people react when they receive a video personally from you?
This is a very emotional project, today every word of support can make someone a day, cheer up, morale and can give that very strength to resist.
My personal appeals can be made on the website for free: fill out the form if you have relatives who protect our land, our freedom on the front line - the Armed Forces of Ukraine, volunteers, doctors. More than 3,000 video messages have already been recorded, people react very emotionally and warmly. I consider this project necessary, I do it with great pleasure and I want other artists to join it.
I had to leave my house, part with my husband, I miss Ukraine very much, - Polyakova / instagram.com/polyakovamusic
What would you say to the Ukrainians now?
We need to survive and survive at all costs. I urge people who live in hot spots, especially women with children, to leave these places. It is our children who will later have to live in this country, raise it, children are our future. If possible, leave and save the children. I would like to wish peace and victory to all Ukrainians in Ukraine and around the world. Everything will be Ukraine!
How do you see our country after the victory?
Strong, without corruption, because it is no longer possible to return to where we came from. The country will never be the same, we have already lost so many people, we are getting our freedom at such a heavy price that we no longer have the right to thieving politicians, to the corruption lawlessness that was going on. We will have to build a completely new, honest country in which everyone can feel safe.