"Got rich on the money of the Armed Forces? Are you serious?" Vakarchuk's entourage reacted emotionally to his "high" military salary

Sviatoslav Vakarchuk

Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, frontman of the band Okean Elzy, who had been in the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2022, has been "demobilized". During his service, the musician "received a solid salary over the years." This is what the Ukrainian media reported.

OBOZ.UA asked the spokeswoman for the band Okean Elzy, Victoriia Khomenko, to comment on the dismissal, and she suggested why the information about the dismissal appeared. She also told us where Vakarchuk's military salary goes.

According to Viktoriia Khomenko, the musician did not leave the army: "Sviatoslav was mobilized in March 2022 – this is known information. He came to the military commissariat in Lviv with his brother in the first days of the full-scale invasion. He serves as a moral and psychological training officer because he graduated from the military department at the university with a degree in military psychology and sociology. The information that he left the service is not true."

''Got rich on the money of the Armed Forces? Are you serious?'' Vakarchuk's entourage reacted emotionally to his ''high'' military salary

"Over time, conscripts are transferred from one position to another," explains Viktoriia Khomenko, "and this is called dismissal, and later – acceptance to another position. But this in no way means demobilization from the army. And the journalists, after reading about the dismissal, came to this conclusion. I talked to the editorial office where this material appeared, and they made corrections to the article. But you know, a story with a negative emotional coloring is always better read than a refutation."

The media also reported that in his declaration for January – early May 2024, Vakarchuk stated that he received UAH 89.6 thousand as a financial allowance for military service, and for 2022-2024, this amount was about UAH 850 thousand.

"There is a financial support in any service," comments Victoriia Khomenko, "You can't just refuse it. And the army is a structure where you cannot come and say: "I will work for coffee, and here is the bill – transfer the money here." Sviatoslav constantly transfers these funds to our fund himself, because we use it to make purchases for our friendly brigades. Right now, while talking to you, I am sending to the post office the contracts for six REBs, which cost our foundation 900 thousand hryvnias."

"You know, late last night I was re-reading what was written on the Internet and thought: do people really think that Sviatoslav Vakarchuk takes money from the Armed Forces and somehow got rich from it?" Victoriia continues, "I even recently received a reminder on Facebook that a little over a year ago we raised funds for one of the Odesa brigades through a concert and an auction. We were 210 thousand short of two million. Sviatoslav added this money from his own money to the fund to make it a beautiful figure. "Yesterday we were very touched by the story with Okhmatdyt. We immediately agreed with Slava that we would donate 100 thousand hryvnias from the foundation. And in the evening I read all this – my friends and acquaintances start sending me money..."

"I'm sorry, really," Viictoria Khomenko adds, "I don't dare to make any personal collection, to ask people for money. All the years we have been donating our own money – money from concerts or what we manage to accumulate from some other performances. And then this information... Vakarchuk lives on money from the Armed Forces? I don't even have a logical explanation for this. Perhaps this kind of information has some good purpose – readers have a place to release tension, and fatigue, and compete in humor in the comments. I do not rule out that more memes will appear on this topic. But we won't get very far this way."

"Sviatoslav Vakarchuk has served in the Armed Forces and will continue to donate funds to help the Ukrainian army. The 800-something thousand is a small part compared to the tens of millions we have transferred to the front. We have documented all this. "Of course, we discussed the situation with Sviatoslav," adds Victoriia, "He is sincerely surprised. He said: "They think I took this money for myself? Really?" How many times have I asked him to take a picture when he sends something to the front! It is very difficult to persuade him. When he goes to the guys, he takes what we have bought at that time into the car. But that's not all, because as soon as we get something, we try to send it right away, and not wait for Slavik to leave. But sometimes it happens that everything coincides. Many times I've said: "Slava, we really need photos, let someone take a picture with their phone."

''Got rich on the money of the Armed Forces? Are you serious?'' Vakarchuk's entourage reacted emotionally to his ''high'' military salary

"He's angry: "I'm not going to show this. "Why?" Khomenko says, "I have several photos of him handing out the aid with his back to the camera. You can see that the man is ashamed. It's clear that if we posted such photos, we could hear that he was promoting himself. Good things are done quietly and all that. But the other part of people might now say: we don't see that he is helping, do we? And now that this story has happened, I even see it as a plus to some extent: it will be easier for me to explain to Slava why such pictures are needed."

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