Skip to main content

Song of Ukraine: Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Lead Singer of Okean Elzy, Shares His Vision for the Future

December 16, 2015

It’s not unusual to describe a prominent political figure as a figurative “rock star.” Well in the case of social activist, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, lead vocalist for Okean Elzy (the most successful post-Soviet rock band in Ukraine), it happens to be literally true. The rock icon is  also a well-known advocate of Ukrainian national identity and was named one of the 100 most influential people in Ukraine by the magazine, Korrespondent. During his recent visit to the Wilson Center, we asked him to explain his vision for the future of his country. That’s the focus of this edition of CONTEXT.


Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is a social activist and lead vocalist for Okean Elzy. He is also a former member of the Verkhovna Rada parliamentary committee for freedom of expression and information, supported the Orange Revolution, and founded the non-profit, Lyudi Maybutnyogo (People of the Future). In 2005 he was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program and the magazine, Korrespondent, ranked him as one fo the 100 most influential people in Ukraine.


Svyatoslav Vakarchuk

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk

Yale World Fellow
Read More

Hosted By

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange.  Read more