Cult Austrian ska-punk band Russkaja, surfing Soviet nostalgia in Vienna for two decades, announced its break-up Saturday over safety fears following the Ukraine war.
Russkaja includes six men and one woman and started in Vienna 18 years ago. The band enjoyed great success in the United States with its blend of “Russian Turbo Polka Metal”.
“Presented as pro-Russian despite our condemnation” of the invasion of Ukraine, “our group Russkaja has become a daily target on the Internet”, the seven-member band, which includes a Russian and Ukrainian, said on Facebook.
“The Soviet imagery is forever damaged” and “the war in Ukraine that Russia started on February 24, 2022 no longer allows us to use it satirically,” Russkaja wrote.
“And then we fear for the safety of our team and we don’t want anything serious to happen during a show.”
At first, the band — one of whose tag lines is “peace, love and Russian roll” — had decided to continue performing while clearly showing its support for Kyiv.
The bassist Dimitrij Miller is Ukrainian.
But its logo is in the shape of a red star, its lead singer from Moscow and some of its lyrics such as “the Russians have landed” had to be rewritten.
Signs of hostility have multiplied and “no one in this group wants to represent anymore something which, in a time like ours, is exclusively associated with war, death, crime and bloodshed”, Russkaja added.
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