The Volokh Conspiracy

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Ukraine War Music

"And Whomever You Ask in Russia / Everyone Will Say: 'Merci to the Leadership!'"

"Don't even doubt it / Or you will right away become a foreign agent."

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From the prominent Russian band Leningrad; it now has over 1.25M views, though it was just posted Thursday. The band members, as I've mentioned before, aren't themselves particularly pro-Ukraine (see here and here)—they are more cynical and realist than ideological, it seems to me (see this song, which I blogged a month ago). But here, unless I'm completely missing things, the message is entirely against the Russian government.

Here is my translation, though of course much is doubtless lost in the translation (thanks to my mother Anne for help with some of the words); for the Russian lyrics, see here:

We are more spiritual than everyone in the world,
We are deeper than any seas,
Children, fuck yeah, are our priority
That's why we are kinder than everyone else.
We are the best and the most beautiful of all,
Smarter than everyone, jollier than everyone.
We will fuck up everyone else
And success awaits us everywhere.

In short, we are alone here against the darkness,
Let's save the whole world from digital prison.

Don't even doubt it
Or you will right away become a foreign agent.
Don't even doubt it
Or you will right away become a foreign agent.

A wonderful life has arrived,
It will confirm everything for us.
Our people are made of metal
And all others—of shit.
We are not to blame, it's just
There's no-one better than us in the world,
We think very insightfully
And are reliable like Kamaz [a brand of Russian trucks].

And whomever you ask in Russia,
Everyone will say: "Merci to the leadership!"
Don't even doubt it
Or you will right away become a foreign agent.

Everything is going according to plan,
No-one expected us, and yet here we are at your door!
Let our relics in churches
Become even mightier than before
Our fucking-coolness is the secret of our success
We have enough to spare
If somewhere something is somehow—
Well, it wasn't us.

Look, who's being led away?
To hell with critics, where Shulman and Dud' now are [these are two prominent Russian commentators who were listed by the Russian government on April 15 as foreign agents for their opposition to the war in the Ukraine, and who have left the country].

Don't even doubt it
Or you will right away become a foreign agent.

NEXT: Victims of Communism Day - 2022

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  1. If you believe in prayer, pray Putin dies in surgery. Pray his even more vicious successor is assassinated by a patriotic Russian.

  2. According to various people on the internet, everyone is a Russian agent especially if you fail to accept the prevailing public mood regarding Russia. Interesting how they were a joke in a Presidential debate just a few years ago but suddenly are now the puppet masters of a global network of internet trolls and hackers capable of manipulating everything from public opinion to polling machines. Meanwhile, the US government seems to be quite paranoid as well. Every few weeks, we hear of another person charged for the “grievous” crime of failing to register as a foreign lobbyist.

    1. That's difference because Russians *are* foreigners, while Americans aren't.

    2. I like how you're conflating some Internet randos with Presidential policy.

      But also, are you against foreign agents registering?

  3. Eh, I prefer the previous one by this band you posted.

    When the Russians first attacked Ukraine, I was hopeful that these sorts of things would change public opinion. Then I also thought about a band like Rage Against the Machine and how I'll rock out to them, wearing a suit, to my nice high-rise office. I realize that popularity doesn't always result in changes or even indicate a sign of agreement. Especially if the music is good on its own.

    1. When the Russians first attacked Ukraine, I was hopeful that these sorts of things would change public opinion.

      My understanding is that the majority of Russians support the war. But even if they didn't, it's not like they can vote out Putin at the next election. (Putin has been rigging elections / killing, imprisoning, disqualifying, etc. his potential opponents for years (decades?).

  4. The link provided to the Russian lyrics is for a different song.
    I found the Russian lyrics for this song here:
    https://on-hit.ru/texts/leningrad-inoagent/

    1. Whoops, sorry, fixed, thanks!

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