Charity concert in Budapest, June 16
Ukraine artists responding in song to Russian slaughter
The concert has the support of the Municipality of District IX of Budapest and is free of charge but will raise charitable funds to support Ukraine. The event will be under the auspices of UNITED24, an initiative of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the main avenue for collecting charitable donations for defence and demining, medical aid and rebuilding of the beleaguered country.
Funds will be transferred to the official accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine and allocated by assigned ministries to cover pressing humanitarian needs. The concert also aims to thank the Hungarian people for supporting the independent sovereign state of Ukraine in its struggle for independence and freedom, and for helping refugees who were forced to flee their homeland because of the invasion.
Artists and musicians who will perform include Oleg Yuriyovych Skrypka, a musician, vocalist, composer and leader of the group Vopli Vidoplyasova. In 2014 Skrypka said an interview with Rossiiskaya gazeta that he and the group would no longer perform in Russia. Later that year, he pulled out of a concert in London that also featured popular Russian singer Valeriya, stating that he would not perform in Russia or alongside Russians “as long as Russia and Ukraine are at war”.
In 2016 Skrypka and numerous other Ukrainian entertainers lobbied then-President Petro Poroshenko to ban broadcasting of Russian film and music in the country, as well as banning the import of Russian film and music.
In April 2017 he was recorded stating that people who do not speak Ukrainian have “low IQs” and should be sent to “ghettoes”. He denied making those remarks but the recording surfaced. On the 22nd of that month Skrypka was called by Russian prankster Vladimir Kuznetsov,who introduced himself as Arsen Avakov, the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs.
During the conversation with “Avakov”, Skrypka was questioned about his comments, and he accused the newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda of taking his words out of context. He did not issue a formal apology until later that night, when he realised he had been the victim of a prank. The apology said the prank call was not a “provocation” against him but against all Ukraine.
Another performer will be Inna Leonidivna Bordiuh, known professionally as Zlata Ognevich, a singer and former politician. She represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden, with the song “Gravity”, placing third. Ognevich previously attempted to represent Ukraine at the contest in 2010 and 2011.
In 2014 Ognevich was elected to the Verkhovna Rada, the unicameral parliament of Ukraine, for the Radical Party using her birth name Inna Bordyuh. She resigned from parliament after one year, citing her opposition to the corruption she had witnessed. She has been vocal in her support for Ukrainian forces during the pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, and announced she would not accept Russian citizenship following the annexation of Crimea, where Ognevich was raised.
The Budapest audience will also see Pianoboy, a solo project of musician Dmitry Shurov, one of Kiev’s most acclaimed musicians and ex-member of Okean Elzy from 2001-2004, Esthetic Education from 2004-2008, and Zemfira from 2006-2009.
The pianist, singer-songwriter and composer was a judge on X-Factor Ukraine for its eighth and ninth seasons, and gained notoriety for grabbing a contestant’s guitar and smashing it on stage. Shurov had said that he did not like the performer’s melodies and songs.
It is not clear what action was taken against him and whether he was fired from the show. He has not released any public statements explaining his actions.
Juri Hancurkan was the victim of the incident and he began to weep. He later revealed that the guitar was a gift from his father, who had died several years ago.
Shurov was four years old when he started playing piano. He attended the Lyceum Auguste Renoir in Limoges, France, and the University of Utah in the United States. During Shurov’s time in the US he played in different jazz bands, orchestras and choirs.
Upon returning from the United States, he applied to Kyiv National Linguistic University. He has composed music for many films, including “Servant of the People” and “Khottabych”, as well as for fashion and comedy shows.
Also in Budapest will be Wellboy, a popular artist who participated in the tenth season of the Ukrainian edition of X-Factor in the team of female singer NK. In 2022 he was announced as one of the finalists of the national selection Vidbir 2022, to choose the representative of the country in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, competing with his song “Nozzy Bossy” and ultimately ending third.