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"There are no masks in war". Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, "volunteers" in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

The artist gave an exclusive interview to OBOZ.UA

The popular Ukrainian duo TamerlanAlena, which was formed in 2009 and became famous for the songs "Wind Currents," "I Want to Be with You" and other hits, ceased to exist in its usual lineup after Russia's full-scale invasion. Olena Omargalieva began singing solo, and her husband Tamerlan volunteered to defend his homeland from the first days of the great war.

Today, Tamerlan rarely appears in public space, does not give interviews, and does not release songs. However, as part of his cooperation with OBOZ.UA, blogger Bohdan Bespalov managed to talk to the man, who is now actively involved in volunteer work, performs special missions, and every time he returns from military missions, he does not understand the behavior of some of his colleagues. Read about the strange actions of stars, the choice to volunteer, and the crisis in relationships during the war in our exclusive interview.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– Your life changed after February 24, like most Ukrainians. You went to serve as a volunteer. Do you plan to return to music as an artist in the future?

– To be honest, I don't have any such thoughts now. And my state of mind is a bit non-musical. What will happen next? I'm already writing the winning track. For our victory. I think we'll make one for sure (smiles).

– Nowadays, a lot of witches, psychics, tarot readers, and numerologists make predictions about victory, when the war will end, etc. How do you feel about this phenomenon in general? What is the reason for this? Perhaps people need a little miracle?

– One hundred percent. I don't treat this as a phenomenon in any way. But people want to hear something good. Some changes, some news that could keep their condition positive. In general, if you analyze it, look: a new tarot reader appears who predicts something. Everyone's attention is focused on him or her. Then, when it doesn't happen, he or she, of course, disappears somewhere. So it's okay that something is happening. People really need positive news. Whether they get it from tarot readers, numerologists, or something else is a matter of choice. People want to believe in something good, and joyful. And they find their way.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– Moving on to more serious topics... You know, we have been living in a state of "victory is coming soon" for quite some time. Well, at least, the media wrote about it, talked about it in the telethon, and so on. And now, in my observation, we have begun to broadcast reality more. That is, the same Budanov says more down-to-earth things. Do you think people need this truth?

– You know, if everyone was of the same psychotype, I think so. But many people cannot accept this truth, because it strangles them and presses them mentally. So I can't say for sure, but it's better to live with the truth because you are more or less aware of the situation that is happening around you, next to you. It is somehow more convenient to plan something.

– For many couples, the war has become a kind of test. What about your family? Have you become even closer to your wife? Or vice versa – have you had misunderstandings?

– The mega-stressful situation on February 24 has many consequences. Even for those families in which everything seemed to be perfect. Some people cope with it, others not so well, so many people get divorced. We also went through trials from the very first days. The tense atmosphere lasted for several months. You know, we remembered all the bad things that happened, accumulated. For some time, we didn't even communicate and supported each other with text messages.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– Thank you for that answer. There is no need to be ashamed of problems. There are many difficulties and nervous situations in life. And I think people should know that we are all going through difficult times, but we are doing our best. What do you think about women's mobilization? Recently, there have been a lot of discussions on this topic. Some say it would be right to mobilize women, others say there is no point in talking about it at all.

– I have seen many women who are fighting. They are very competent, and very deep in what they do. But how were we brought up? That a woman is a keeper of the family hearth, that a woman is not for war. I am sure that mobilization should not be forced. At the same time, many women live in the military and find themselves in it. I believe that women have something to do in the rear, and they will be more useful here. But at the same time, I am sure that many women will go to war for their reasons. I also know many married couples who fight in the same unit. There is such a story. So it's a choice of each person, no matter what gender you are.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– By the way, I never thought about it... This is the first time I've heard that even married couples are in the units.

– I was also amazed when I saw it. It is very interesting. And maximum support. And many of those who find their soul mates at the front, this also happens. This was especially true in the first two months of the great war near Kyiv. Because everything is real. You see, there are no more masks. People even get married.

– And what about your stage colleagues? Recently, Pianoboy Dmytro Shurov and Dzidzio said that artists have no place in the army at all, and their purpose is to give music and culture. Do you agree with this thesis or is it also more individual? Does it depend on the person, and how ready they are? Both mentally and physically.

– It's a hundred percent. Getting back to the fact that each of us is not like the other. That is, we are all different, and our psychotype is also different. Someone can take up arms and go to defend their home, village, city, or country. And someone can't do it, because it is a really important decision in life.

Recently, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of Ukraine spoke on this topic. Answering a similar question, he said that this does not prevent them from making the same reposts. When there was a conversation about bloggers who close down meetings, they said they were more useful in the rear. But we can see for ourselves how these bloggers behave, having an imaginary privilege for themselves. The answer was that this does not prevent them from doing their job and holding meetings while at the start line. You don't have to be in the first position.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

I believe that artists are, yes, "subtle" people in their feelings, creative. But until February 24, I was an artist myself and was engaged in music 24-7, writing songs as much as possible, and was involved in the creative process. You know, everything is individual. I believe that we have a civic duty to our country, and no one has canceled it.

– Public figures go on vacation. As was the case with Oleksandr Voloshyn in Mexico at the end of December. Then blogger Prentkovych's boyfriend went to the Maldives under the guise of volunteering. How do you regulate such things? Do you and the boys talk to each other about these topics? What is your reaction to such news?

– I won't speak for anyone else, I'll tell you my opinion frankly. I believe that this is a different reality. When women with children leave, for example, it's one thing. When guys with military service go on a volunteer program and end up somewhere on the ocean, it's a little strange.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– And when you decided to volunteer, what influenced your choice and what was the most difficult thing to do in the beginning?

– The hardest part was making the decision. We live on the Zhytomyr highway, just outside Kyiv. And on the 25th, if I'm not mistaken, in the evening, we were taking out several cars with our families. We had two families. And the hardest thing was to go back on the 26th. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life. But I don't regret it one bit. Because I accepted this situation for myself from the very first days.

It is a test, and each of us passes it as we feel 100%. But I have always said that these are difficult times for all of us, for the nation as a whole. And it all depends on the decision, the choice each of us makes. Because we will live with this choice in the future. I think it was an irrevocable decision because we all knew what could happen. Especially when they [the Russian occupiers] were already reaching the Kyiv region. We knew it could be a one-way ticket.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– Will we make it?

– One hundred percent. I talk to the guys [in the military] all the time and I realize that we are still the strongest nation. I am sure that any European country is simply not ready for this. And how creative our people are! We have a creative approach to every task. There may be fewer of us, but we will make sure that we win with our creative approach.

We have a legendary guy who runs TikTok, nicknamed "The Chemist". He can walk into a room and make a bomb out of improvised materials. So I realize that we have very cool people who are making history today. History is being decided now. We have proven that we love Ukraine and will defend it to the last. Because for us, the country is not just a word, it matters.

''There are no masks in war''. Tamerlan talks about the mobilization of women, ''volunteers'' in the Maldives, and why he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces

– There is a large-scale Ukrainization of the entire cultural space, which I fully support, 100%. Can we, and TamerlanAlena's fans, count on, for example, a small gift in the form of a Ukrainianized song, one of your hits? Have you and Olena considered this option?

– Yes, we are preparing a surprise. We had an idea a long time ago to make "The Wind Currents" in Ukrainian. Because of my schedule, I haven't been able to get to the studio to record my verse for over a year. This is a very cool story. I think we will organize it somehow and premiere it. Maybe even this year to cheer up our citizens a little bit.

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