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February 25, 2022 11:54 am
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Jewish Ukrainian-Russian Singer Says ‘My Heart Hurts,’ Wishes for ‘Lasting Peace’ Amid Russian Invasion

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Regina Spektor. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Regina Spektor talked about her Jewish Russian and Ukrainian heritage while commenting on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine in an Instagram post on Thursday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of the country.

“Today my heart hurts because no matter how many great works of art and music (Guernica…. Masters Of War… Most of Okudzhava and Vysotsky… Vonnegut… Remarque… all those films in all those languages…) portray the horrors of war, new Masters of War seem to rise up again in all the nations… Sending new children to slaughter each other,” she wrote. “Yes there’s nothing funny about Peace, Love and Understanding… it’s so needed right now.”

Spektor shared in the Instagram post a photo that her father took of a young girl wearing a bow in her hair while sitting on a float during a celebration in the former USSR marking the end of World War II.

“All the “frontoviki” (people who fought Nazis in the war) fought the real Nazis together,” she said. “The Russians and the Ukrainians, and many others-all together. People can love both cultures and be grateful for both cultures and respect each other … And all of us go floating in search of one thing: Peace.”

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The singer, who was born in Russia but said most of her grandparents are from Ukraine, also compared Putin’s actions to those of the Nazis during World War II.

“There were, and still are, real Nazis in the world. But in Ukraine that are just millions of civilians being pulled into a war, and in Russia there are children being sent to fight and die for no reason other than the bottomless and horror filled ‘more more more more more more more’ of politicians and corporations,” she wrote. “And it’s terrifying… this part of being a grownup sucks. Being this aware of how endless these circles seem to be. My grandparents with their eyes full of hunger and war and wisdom are all gone now, and I can’t ask them the important questions anymore … I look at that kid with her white ‘bantiki’ [big hair bow] and I wish her, and all the little kids of the past, present, and future, some lasting peace.”

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