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"They wanted to remove me from the chessboard as a strong combat unit" - an exclusive interview with the author of the song "Bayraktar"

Darya SkubLife
The song about Bayraktar has become a new hit of the war in Ukraine.

Today, patriotic Ukrainian songs are a digital antidote for us to the great evil called war. They help to maintain the morale of both soldiers and civilians. One such song is "Bayraktar," dedicated to a Turkish attack drone. From the first days of its publication, it became a hit: it rapidly gained over a million views on YouTube, but is constantly under attack by racist bots (to watch the video, scroll to the bottom of the page) .

The author of the song is Taras Borovok, a lieutenant colonel (information and monitoring department of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine) and a talented screenwriter whose most popular screenplays are the comedy Swingers (parts 1 and 2) and the historical comedy Noble Vagabonds. In an exclusive interview with OBOZREVATEL, Taras shared what helps him keep his morale up during the war and explained why they wanted to remove him as a "strong combat unit on the information front."

- You studied at the Suvorov Military School, you are a certified engineer, psychologist, journalist and philologist, but you have no musical education. How did you start to feel passionate about music?

- Until 2006, I served in the army, worked for the magazine "Viysko Ukrainy" (Army of Ukraine), but was laid off by the government of Viktor Yanukovych (the fourth president of Ukraine - Ed.) because the army was being destroyed "at the root." That is, I was retired as an officer for 16 years, and on February 24, 2022, I resumed my service and now serve in the Land Forces Command.

Playing music is secondary, my hobby. The point is that this hobby is very relevant today. In addition to my main official tasks, I write songs because it's a cool and reliable thing that unites. I have a task to unite the military environment with the civilian one; to stitch our society together with messages that give hope for confidence in victory, calm the society, cause either a smile or a tear... Positive emotions towards the army, the whole society, and Ukraine

Taras writes songs to support the morale of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the civilian population.

- You gained popularity back in 2014. What was the story behind your becoming one of the performers of the Putin Duet?

- This duo had millions of views, and my YouTube channel was closed numerous times because we were fighting with the Katsap bot farms. At that time, we were recording music videos together with Dmytro Naumov (a Ukrainian screenwriter - Ed.). I am a civilian. The military called and said that some sh*t was happening in Crimea: can you somehow morally support our military? And we came up with the idea of the Putin Duet right there in the kitchen.

Then we wrote the song "Letter to the President " in a day and shot a video. That song helped to lift our spirits then, just as "Bayraktar" does now. We used to use encryption then. We wore balaclavas. Because then messages like "we are one people" were popular...

Now I am openly waging an information war. The same Sharii (Anatoliy Sharii, pro-Russian propagandist and former journalist of Ukrainian origin - Ed.) "dedicated" four programs to me personally. He was lying to me, and I was even more inspired by it, because I didn't pay attention to the criticism. I was told that I was a Banderite, a corrupt official, that I had stolen billions from the state... All in order to demoralize me, to remove me from the chessboard as a strong combat unit on the information front.

- How did you come up with the idea to write the song "Bayraktar"?

- On the first day of the Russian invasion, I signed a contract with the Armed Forces. And I received a request to write a national hit. The command called me and told me that right now, at this moment, the bayraktars are saving our troops and stopping the enemy on the approach. Can you write any song to say "thank you" to the Turks for the attack drone? I sat down and wrote the song "Bayraktar" in 15 minutes. Then I posted it on our page "The Land Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine", where at that time there were 30 thousand subscribers, and since February 28, in three weeks, there have been 830 thousand subscribers.

- What, in your opinion, helped Bayraktar gain fame not only in Ukraine but also abroad? It is known that it has already been translated into foreign languages, and the French singer and composer Elisabeth Schettner has published a remix of this song.

- As a psychologist, as a journalist, I clearly work out all the messages, all the narratives that are in my songs. This is a hobby that became a professional activity in the army. My service consists in writing short formulas in the form of songs that are great for the society and do their propaganda work. "Bayraktar" was the story that was both positive and about the military, and united both civilian and military society. It appeared at the right time and in the right place.

At the moment, the situation requires simple and accessible things: a message, preferably a patriotic one. For example, recently, on May 6, a greeting song "Infantry" was released. What makes it unique is that all 16 separate infantry brigades in Ukraine are named in this song. And the song "Hero Cities of the Country of Heroes"... Its video version has the names of all five hundred Ukrainian cities.

- On March 8, you made a gift to the girls - you wrote one verse of "Bayraktar"...

- This is a song that you can send to a girl every year on March 8. It's an audio and video postcard that will make your beloved smile and make her mood better. It's a kind of sedative for women.

- What helps you personally to keep your morale up in times of war?

- God gave me an optimistic character. Not only do I keep myself optimistic, but I also create an appropriate atmosphere around me. There are people who have lost everything. They could care less if three suns shine, if beautiful songs are sung around them... They will sit on the ocean shore, drink liquor from a shell, and say that something will come from somewhere, that everything is bad. These are the pessimists. I am an optimist.

- What does freedom mean to you? Has this meaning changed since the beginning of the war?

- As Nietzsche said, if you want to be free in a society, you have to place your freedom within the laws of that society. That is, everything is relative. For me, freedom is the ability to allow yourself to live, create and do whatever you want. It is manifested in everything - in the situation you are in, in the financial values and wealth that allow you to be free in society, in your status, in your emotions, in the people who create these emotions. Freedom means opportunities. The more opportunities you have, the more freedom you have. Of course, this is not contrary to moral and ethical principles.

Taras Borovok at the premiere of the film Noble Tramps.

- During the war, how do you renew your energy to create?

- I am just overwhelmed, that's all. God has given me - I create. I always have a notebook and a pen on my bedside table to write down an interesting thought or idea, and the first button on my phone is the player in the "recorder" mode. I pressed it and immediately sang the idea with an interesting melody. I do the lyrics, music, and arrangements myself. It's all turnkey. The only thing is... "PMZh" ("Song of Peaceful Life" - Ed.) is purely for girls. I just heard the melody, some guy was sitting and playing, and I started writing the words. It turned out to be the composer Ihor Borysenko. For Easter, we wrote another song together, "There Will Be a Paradise in Ukraine."

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL wrote that the song about Bayraktar became a new hit of the war in Ukraine. In the song, the author used a comic light to show how the Ukrainian Armed Forces unexpectedly strike at the "orcs" from Russia.

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