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.

Taras Topolya

Taras Topolya is the frontman of the Ukrainian band Antytila and spokesman of the Youth Advisory Board for the President of Ukraine. He was also the youth ambassador for UNICEF in Ukraine, ia a co-founder of the Antytila Charity Foundation, paramedic of the 130th Battalion of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces, and the father of three children.

Taras started his musical journey at school: he played the violin and sang in the male choir. During his studies, he created the band which would later become Antytila.

Before the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022, Taras and two members of Antytila – Serhii Vusyk and Dmytro Zholud’ – joined the Territorial Defence Force of Kyiv. In the first days of the full-scale invasion, Taras and his fellow musicians started their service from the defence of Kyiv as combat medics. Despite the constant shelling and psychological pressure, they find the most challenging task working with fallen Defenders; with those who can no longer be saved.

Together with Ed Sheeran, Taras released the track 2step, which the musicians had performed together in Poland. The song is dedicated to the millions of Ukrainians whose families were separated by Russian bombings and missile strikes. Taras also performed together with Bono and The Edge from U2, appealing to the world to stand with and support Ukraine. 

Alongside his wife Olena Topolya, a singer known in Ukraine as Alyosha, they raise three children. Like many other Ukrainian families who have been separated, they live far away from each other — Olena and their children evacuated from Ukraine due to the war.

Through the work of his charitable foundation, Taras directs all his efforts and funds to help families with children whose family members have been killed by Russian invaders. The singer combines frontline service with charity concerts in support of Ukraine.


Taras Topolia Facebook-page
Listen to Antytila’s music: YouTube | Spotify