Yaroslav Korolev featured in a video uploaded to Instagram on April 14th, 2020. He was seen playing the piano surrounded by the ruins of a historical building in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Yaroslav played a piece by Ukrainian composer “Yuriy Vesnyak” called “Tenderness” in what was left of Kharkiv’s Palace of Labour.
The Palace of Labour is situated in the western part of Kharkiv’s Constitution Square. It was built in 1914, but as seen in the video, it is now basically in ruins after the conflicts between Ukraine and Russia. The video below shows Yaroslav playing in a scene some have said is reminiscent of the 2002 war drama, “The Pianist”.
The video was filmed by Sergei Romensky, a music producer, who pans around Yarsolav as he plays a beautiful melody in the devastated surroundings. The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, has said many landmarks have been destroyed across the city, saying that over 1,600 building have been damaged or destroyed by Russian forces since the start of the month. Over 50% of the city’s population fled at the start of the war in February, however, those that remain are living underground in shelters to escape Russian shelling.
A few weeks earlier during the conflict in Kharkiv, we saw another musician, Mark Demianchenko, play beautiful classical guitar also with the backdrop of Kharkiv’s Palace of Labour ruins.
The 22 year old guitarist said, “Hello, my name is Mark, We are still in Kharkiv. Bombing is not stopping so we don’t know what to do. We wish peace to everyone because without peace life is very difficult. Many thanks for your kind support. We love you.”
We also saw a cellist playing Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 outside the ruined regional police headquarters in the city, again with a backdrop of the devastation the area has suffered from the conflict.
As we pray this conflict comes to an end as soon as possible, these brave musicians help to raise spirits in their own country and across the world.