The Ukrainian band Boombox left the queue for a tour and played in Prague

Update: 28.08.2022 21:30

Prague – Previously, the popular band Boombox gave concerts for Ukrainians and Russians, today its members defend Ukraine in the ranks of the army against Russian aggression. During a short vacation while rotating at the front, they went on a European tour, during which they want to raise money for drones for the Ukrainian army. The band’s frontman Andrij Chlyvňuk also controls these drones right at the front. He told journalists today at the Ukrainian embassy before the evening concert in Prague at the Karlín Forum.

Chlyvňuk came to the attention of the world public shortly before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The band was on tour in America at the time, but immediately returned after the outbreak of war and joined the Kiev militia. A video of Khlyvnyuk singing the Ukrainian folk song Červená kalina in an empty Sofia Square became a hit on the Internet around the world. For example, an edited version in which other artists joined him remotely is on the channel YouTube almost 20 million views.

“I was on patrol, then still as a volunteer. Only recently before, they gave us weapons. My brothers in arms asked me to sing something for them,” described the band leader. One of his comrades recorded the soulful singing on a mobile phone, and Chlyvňuk then posted it on social networks. The song subsequently became a musical symbol of the Ukrainian resistance. The video also inspired the famous band Pink Floyd, who composed a song in support of Ukraine for a quarter of a century a new song “Hey, Hey, Rise up!” (Hey, hey, stand up!) or South African a musician using the pseudonym The Kiffness.

Chlyvňuk was surprised by the subsequent support of people from all over the world, as well as the effect the song had in countries that were neutral towards Eastern European countries until then. “I was really surprised by the wave of empathy, the wave of support that came from abroad. I could not have predicted that he would become a symbol of this struggle,” he commented on the song. He pointed out that Červená kalina is a folk song that encouraged the fighting spirit of Ukrainians already during the First World War or during the resistance against communism.

Chlyvňuk first served in the Kyiv region, where he participated, for example, in the evacuation of residents or in the delivery of medicine and food. He was wounded at the beginning of the invasion. When asked by ČTK, he said that he gained combat experience recently when he was deployed directly on the front line. First in the east of Ukraine, now he was transferred to the south. He serves in the army as a combat drone operator.

Part of the money the band collects during its short tour in Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria will go to the purchase of this equipment. He will invest the rest of the money in the humanitarian foundation that Chlyvňuk founded.

He noted that drones help the Ukrainian army not only to identify enemy artillery, but also to protect the lives of soldiers and civilians. “We are fighting on our own territory. And in addition to the fact that our goal is to neutralize the enemy’s equipment, we also take care not to harm the local people and destroy their property,” he noted.

The band went on tour as part of their ten-day vacation, after which they will return to their units. “We haven’t seen most of the band for half a year. Our guitarist saw his son, who was born four months ago, for the first time yesterday,” noted Chlyvňuk.

The first Boombox concert was held in Poland, and Chlyvňuk considers it a success. Before him, he was worried about whether it would be possible to ensure the safety of visitors. After half a year of service in the army, he also doubted his technical and artistic abilities.

On tour, he was excited to see people living normal lives. “It really gave me great pleasure to see happy people who are not hiding from danger and living their normal lives,” he said. He was also surprised by how the war had changed him. “When the tram passed through the intersection, it made a sound similar to when a bullet from a rocket launcher flies. At that moment, I realized that irreversible changes had already taken place in my head,” he noted.

Source: České noviny – hlavní události by

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