At first glance, Kyiv looks and feels relatively normal. One year on from the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the streets, bars and restaurants once again bustle with people going about their lives. Look a little closer however, and it becomes clear how completely transformative and tragic the war has been. Bombed-out Russian tanks, missile ravaged skyscrapers, checkpoints, sandbags and tank-traps all scar the city. Life plays out to the daily wailing drone of the air raid sirens, bouncing off buildings. Worse is the constant fear for loved ones fighting further east on the frontline. People dread their phones pinging with more bad news.

It is hard to imagine living in such circumstances but for many, solace has been found in music. Despite the war – in fact, because of it – Ukraine’s cultural scene is fizzing with artists who have turned to music for comfort and resolve in the darkest of moments. They are using music to steel their souls, assert their identity and inspire opposition to the invasion. At a time of unimaginable fear .....


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