Train, Badger, Hedgehog, Suitcase

Мій син Іван у свої 1 рік і 8 місяців знає багато слів. Зараз він дуже любить говорити слова Потяг, Борсук, Їжак, Валіза. Але фаворити змінюються щотижня:)

Немає нічого кращого, ніж чути як твої діти починають говорити. Говорити рідною мовою! Це щастя! (до речі, ще одне улюблене слово нашого Івана)

Українська мова – це чи не найсильніша наша зброя. Найбільш стратегічна, так точно.

З Міжнародним днем рідної мови, друзі!

At the age of one year and eight months, my son Ivan knows a lot of words. He now really likes to say the words Train, Badger, Hedgehog, and Suitcase. But the favorites change every week:)

There’s nothing better than hearing your kids start talking, speaking your native language! It is happiness! (Which, by the way, is another of our Ivan’s favorite words.)

The Ukrainian language is perhaps our most powerful weapon. It’s the most strategic one, for sure.

Happy International Mother Language Day, friends!

Source: Svyatoslav Vakarchuk (Facebook), 21 February 2023. Translated, from the Ukrainian, by TRR

З Новим роком! Разом до Перемоги!

2022 рік був важким. Та я пишаюсь тим, що прожив цей рік поруч зі своїми братами і сестрами, якими сьогодні захоплюється весь світ!

А новий 2023 рік, знаю, принесе нам Світло. Я це відчуваю! І нехай здійсниться бажання мільйонів українців, яке ми всі з вами загадали!

З Новим роком! Разом до Перемоги!


[2022 was a tough year. But I am proud to have lived through this year with my brothers and sisters, who are now admired by the whole world!

And the new year of 2023, I know, will bring us light. I can feel it! And may the wish of millions of Ukrainians, which we all made together, come true!

Happy New Year! Together to victory!]

Source: Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Facebook, 31 December 2022. Mr. Vakarchuk is the leader of the immensely popular Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy [Elza’s Ocean], whose songs were invariably the soundtrack to the pro-Ukrainian demos I attended last year. Translated by a robot with a little help from me. The photo, above, which I took on 3 October 2022, shows the Ukrainian flag flying above the city flag outside city hall in Richmond, California. ||| TRR

Elza’s Ocean

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the leader of Okean Elzy [Elza’s Ocean], one of the most famous Ukrainian rock bands, has recorded a video message to the Russians in Russian, in which he condemned them for their silence and thanked those who have publicly protested nevertheless.

A rock musician, and now also a soldier in the Territorial Defense Forces, Vakarchuk said that recently he had often been asked by [Russian] opposition media journalists to give his opinion of what was happening.

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk in 2016. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“It is you, the Russian people, who raised and fed these scumbags, bastards, and beasts who are destroying our homes today, killing old people, women and children, raping and looting,” Vakarchuk said in a video message in Russian.

“You were silent when you should have spoken and acted; when Putin, whose middle name is now Antichrist, came to power, you were silent. When Russia invaded Georgia, you were also mostly silent. Then when Russia brazenly took Crimea from us—just like that, took it, stole it—many of you were even privately proud. Many of you were not only privately proud, and said that Crimea had returned to its native harbor.

“And then eight years later, when your country unleashed a terrible war in our Donbas, you did not have the courage to go out into the streets by the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands, the millions, and protest these terrible things. But you were able to do this earlier. In 1991, a million people came to a square in Moscow to overthrow the evil empire. But that was before, and now it’s just Facebook posts and sympathy over the phone. It won’t help.

“We don’t need sympathy on the phone or on Facebook, we need action. […] I want to express special thanks to those who dared to go out to protest or openly, publicly voiced their stance on the Russian army’s atrocities,” the musician said.

Source:, 9 April 2022. Translated by the Russian Reader