at war

The Culture Fights Back project to share stories of artists and civil society representatives who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In this section, read the stories of modern Ukrainian artists who, at the cost of their lives and health, protect us against Russia’s military aggression in the 21st century.

Oleksandr Yarmak

Oleksandr Yarmak (stage name – YARMAK) is a Ukrainian rapper and actor. 

As a self-made artist, popularity came to him unexpectedly; in the summer of 2011, he started publishing his songs on social media and YouTube. In December of the same year, he released his first music video, which gained over 50,000 views in one night, and a million in two weeks. He highlights themes of social justice and dignity in his rap verses.

YARMAK is a conscious, active citizen of his country. He took part in the events of the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, independently collecting documentary footage from street fights between peaceful protesters and police. He included these clips in the video for the song 22, which combined patriotic lyrics about Ukraine with hip-hop. The song gained immense popularity, becoming an instant hit.

He faced the first day of full-scale invasion with a will to defend his city – Kyiv – from Russian invaders. On February 26, 2022, he joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At first, Olexander was a grenadier, but after completing military training, he began working in aerial reconnaissance. In addition to military tasks, Oleksandr supports other soldiers with his music. Together with other musicians who are now in the Army, he participates in the Cultural Forces project, which aims to support soldiers with music even in the most dangerous places of war. 

Oleksandr Yarmak transfers 100% of profits from his tracks to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. For example, the song Wild Field (Дике поле) earned around UAH 500 000 (approx. 12 000 Euro) in four months on streaming platforms.

Oleksandr Yarmak Instagram-page