Russkaja: Austrian band breaks up – because of the Ukraine war

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Austrian band Russkaja disbands because of the Ukraine war: “Soviet image damaged forever”

Russkaja singer Georgij Makazaria comes from Moscow and has lived in Austria for more than 30 years

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The Austrian band Russkaja has been making music with mostly Russian lyrics for many years. But the Ukraine war changed everything: now the group is disbanding.

In 2005, Georgij Alexandrowitsch Makazaria founded the band Russkaja in Vienna. Makazaria comes from Moscow, has lived in the Austrian capital since 1989, but wanted to at least remain connected to the musical roots of his homeland. His band played ska-punk inspired by traditional Russian music with mostly Russian lyrics and thus gained some notoriety in Austria. The group also performed regularly in Germany, including at the Wacken Festival.

It’s over now, Russkaja have announced their dissolution – because of their name, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and hostilities. It was “the saddest day in the band’s history,” the group said on Facebook, but the war made it “impossible to continue with an image and style that satirically used Soviet themes and language.” The band now draws the conclusions from this: “The time has come to stop.”

Band Russkaja does not want to stand for war

The Viennese now describe their music, which was originally intended as satire, as “tragic with a very bitter aftertaste” – February 24, the start of the war in Ukraine, changed everything. “Nobody in this band wants to represent something that in times like these is associated exclusively with war, death, crime and bloodshed,” Russkaja clarifies in her statement, just as the band condemns the war at their concerts.

But that’s “not enough”: “We can see that this war won’t end any time soon, and even if it does, the Soviet image will be damaged and taboo forever.” The band has to find out what that means now. According to her own statements, she experiences “shitstorms every day”, receives a plethora of hate messages, song lines are maliciously misinterpreted. The musicians feel they are being portrayed as “Russian terrorists” and fear for their safety. They wanted to stand for “peace, diversity and cohesion”.

Last album a “farewell gift” to the fans

The name “Russkaja” means “Russian”, the seven members of the band come from Ukraine, Italy, Germany and Austria. In Austria, the group became known with their appearances on the late-night show “Welcome Austria”. The musicians want to continue to appear on the show, but under a different name.

Russkaja have just released their seventh studio album – it is now a “farewell gift” for the fans. The band canceled their announced international tour.

Source: Russskaya on Facebook / “Welcome Austria” on Facebook

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