Yuri Shevchuk

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Yuri Shevchuk
Iurii Shevchuk v SPbDA. 22 noiabria 2012 (2).jpg
Yuri Shevchuk in Saint Petersburg Theological Academy, 2012.
Background information
Birth nameYuri Yulianovich Shevchuk
Born (1957-05-16) 16 May 1957 (age 61)
Yagodnoye, Magadan Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Genres Rock, outsider music, jazz
Instruments Acoustic Guitar
Associated acts DDT
Website www.ddt.ru
Yuri Shevchuk's signature

Yuri Yulianovich Shevchuk (Russian : Ю́рий Юлиа́нович Шевчу́к; born 16 May 1957, Yagodnoye, Magadan Oblast) is a Soviet and Russian rock musician and singer/songwriter who leads the rock band DDT, which he founded with Vladimir Sigachev in 1980.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Yagodnoye, Magadan Oblast Urban-type settlement in Magadan Oblast, Russia

Yagodnoye is an urban-type settlement in Magadan Oblast, Russia. Population: 4,210 (2010 Census); 5,050 (2002 Census); 11,024 (1989 Census).

Magadan Oblast First-level administrative division of Russia

Magadan Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. It is geographically located in the Far East region of the country, and is administratively part of the Far Eastern Federal District. Magadan Oblast has a population of 156,996, making it the least populated oblast and the third-least populated federal subject in Russia.


He is best known for his distinctive gravelly voice. His lyrics detail aspects of Russian life with a wry, humanistic sense of humor. He is also famous for being opposing pop music culture (especially playback performances) for a long years. He is often accredited with being the greatest songwriter in present-day Russia.


Shevchuk in 1999 Yuri Shevchuck.jpg
Shevchuk in 1999

Shevchuk was born in Yagodnoye in Magadan Oblast and raised in Ufa, Bashkir ASSR. Shevchuk was an art teacher before founding DDT. By the time their third album Periferiya (Periphery) was released, Shevchuk had got a high pressure by Soviet censorship [1] . In 1985 he disbanded his group and resettled to St. Petersburg, Russia, with his wife, Elmira. In Saint-Petersburg he assembled a new line-up and became a member of Leningrad Rock Club. In 1992, he lost his wife due to cancer; an album Aktrisa Vesna (Spring the Actress) contained her paintings and was dedicated to her.

Ufa City in Bashkortostan, Russia

Ufa is the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, and the industrial, economic, scientific and cultural center of the republic. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 1,062,319, making it the eleventh most populous city in Russia.

Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic autonomous soviet socialist republic of a union republic of the Soviet Union

The Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic ; also known as Soviet Bashkiria or simply Bashkiria was an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian SFSR. Currently it is known as Bashkortostan.


Magnitizdat was the process of re-copying and self-distributing live audio tape recordings in the Soviet Union that were not available commercially. It is similar to bootleg recordings, except it was often sanctioned by the performers for the purpose of circumventing Soviet political censorship and making their work as well known as possible.

In January 1995, during First Chechen War, Shevchuk went on a peace mission to Chechnya [2] , where he performed 50 concerts for both Russian troops and Chechen citizens alike. [3]

First Chechen War war fought from 11 December 1994 to 31 August 1996, between Chechnya and Russia

The First Chechen War, also known as the First Chechen Сampaign, First Russian-Chechen war, or officially Armed conflict in the Chechen Republic and on bordering territories of the Russian Federation was a rebellion by the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria against the Russian Federation, fought from December 1994 to August 1996. After the initial campaign of 1994–1995, culminating in the devastating Battle of Grozny, Russian federal forces attempted to seize control of the mountainous area of Chechnya but were set back by Chechen guerrilla warfare and raids on the flatlands despite Russia's overwhelming advantages in firepower, manpower, weaponry, artillery, combat vehicles, airstrikes and air support. The resulting widespread demoralization of federal forces and the almost universal opposition of the Russian public to the conflict led Boris Yeltsin's government to declare a ceasefire with the Chechens in 1996 and sign a peace treaty a year later.

Chechnya First-level administrative division of Russia

Chechnya, officially the Chechen Republic, is a federal subject of Russia.

In 1999, Shevchuk visited Yugoslavia with concerts in protection of its integrity, sharply criticized USA for bombing of the sovereign state and shot some reports about destroyed Orthodox churches in the Serbian region of Kosovo for UNESCO. [3]

Yugoslavia 1918–1992 country in Southeastern and Central Europe

Yugoslavia was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the Kingdom of Serbia, and constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign. The kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris. The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929.

Serbia Republic in Southeastern Europe

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The sovereign state borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population is about seven million, most of whom are Orthodox Christians. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest citiеs in southeastern Europe.

Kosovo Partially-recognised state in Southeast Europe

Kosovo, officially the Republic of Kosovo, is a partially recognized state and disputed territory in Southeastern Europe.

In the 2000s, Shevchuk was highly critical of what he considered the undemocratic nature of Vladimir Putin's Russia (see: Putinism), and was one of the only public celebrities who aired oppositionist grievances face-to-face with Putin during a now-famous sit-down with cultural figures. On 3 March 2008 he participated in a Dissenters March in Saint Petersburg against the president elections where no real opposition candidates were allowed to run. [4] One of his controversial songs, "Kogda zakonchitsya neft", has the lyrics "When the oil runs dry, our president will die". [5]

Vladimir Putin Russian politician, 2nd and 4th President of Russia

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer serving as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008. In between his presidential terms he was also the Prime Minister of Russia under his close associate Dmitry Medvedev.

Putinism is the political system of Russia formed during the leadership of Vladimir Putin, hence the name. It is characterized by the concentration of political and financial powers by "siloviks" — current and former "people with shoulder marks", coming from overall 22 governmental enforcement agencies, the main of them being FSB, Police, Army.. According to columnist Arnold Beichman, "Putinism in the 21st century has become as significant a watchword as Stalinism was in the 20th"

Saint Petersburg Federal city in Northwestern Federal Okrug, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

On 24 and 26 September 2008, he organized two peace concerts in Moscow and Saint Petersburg as a protest to the Russian–Georgian war. The name of the concert "Don't Shoot" was taken from his song "Ne Strelyai" that he had written in 1980 as a response to the Soviet–Afghan War. Together with his band DDT he performed with Georgian jazz singer Nino Katamadze, Ossetian band "Iriston" and Ukrainian band Bratya Karamazovy. Parts of the profits from the concerts were given to those who had suffered from the war, both Ossetians and Georgians. [6]

Soviet–Afghan War War between the Soviet Union and Afghan insurgents, 1979-89

The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the rural countryside. The mujahideen groups were backed primarily by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.

DDT (band) Russian band

DDT is a popular Russian rock band founded by its lead singer and the only remaining original member, Yuri Shevchuk, in Ufa in 1980. Named after the pesticide DDT, they are one of the better known and most prolific Russian bands of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Georgians Caucasian ethnic group that are indigenous to Georgia

The Georgians or Kartvelians are a nation and indigenous Caucasian ethnic group native to Georgia. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, Turkey, Greece, Iran, Ukraine, United States, and throughout the European Union.

In May 2010 Shevchuk received considerable media attention following a pointed dialogue with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in which he openly confronted him (on state television) with questions regarding such controversial topics as democracy, freedom of speech, assembly, and freedom of the press in Russia [7] . In 2017 interview he admitted that next day after dialogue he "got a call from United States Congress with an invitation to read a somewhat lecture..." and his answer was: "[we] will settle it by ourselves". He also stated that some of his requests were treated and processed by Kremlin administration [8] .

On 25 August 2010, Shevchuk performed the Bob Dylan song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" together with U2 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the band's first ever concert in Russia. [9]

On 4 January 2011, Shevchuk was featured on the U.S. NPR Morning Edition radio program. [10]

Shevchuk singing on opposition meeting. Moscow rally 4 February 2012, Yakimanka Street, Bolotnaya Square 24.JPG
Shevchuk singing on opposition meeting.

On 18 June 2014, during a concert at Green Theatre (Moscow), Yury Shevchuk declared that all revenue from a concert will be contributed to "Dr. Lisa" fund as a help for injured citizens of Donbass. [11] [12] .

Solo discography (without DDT)

YearTransliterated titleOriginal titleEnglish translationAnnotation
1982"Cherepovetsky magnitoalbom""Череповецкий магнитоальбом"Cherepovets magnitalbum magnitizdat
1995"Kochegarka""Кочегарка"Boiler roomunderground concert with Alexander Bashlachev in Leningrad on March 18, 1985
1998"'82""82 г."'82post 1982
2001"Dva Kontserta. Acustica""Два концерта. Акустика"Two concerts. Acousticspost 1997
2005"Moskva. Zhara""Москва. Жара"Moscow. Heatunderground concert in post 1985
2008"L'Echoppe""L'Echoppe"The Stall
2009"Sol'nik""Сольник"Soloa collection of poems, published by Novaya Gazeta


  1. Своими глазами//Передача радиостанции «Эхо Москвы»
  2. Мёртвый город. Рождество
  3. 1 2 "Личность - Юрий Шевчук. - Город.томск.ру" . Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  4. "Би-би-си - Россия - Юрий Шевчук: "Эти выборы мне не оставили выбора"" . Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  5. Bratersky, Alexander (2009-08-28). "Shevchuk Sings for the Preservation of Moscow". The Moscow Times . Retrieved 2009-08-29.
  6. Timasheva, Marina (2008-09-24). ""Не стреляй!" Музыканты требуют мира". Svobodanews.ru. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  7. Schwirtz, Michael (31 May 2010). "Break in Protocol for a Rock Star With Putin" . Retrieved 29 April 2017 via NYTimes.com.
  8. Шевчук - о батле с Путиным и войне в Чечне / вДудь on YouTube (in Russian)
  9. "U2 Leader Bono Sings Duet with DDT Frontman Yury Shevchuk at Moscow Concert :: Russia-InfoCentre" . Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  10. "Yuri Shevchuk: Russia's Musical Advocate For Democracy". NPR. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  11. "Группа "ДДТ" отказалась от "Осени" и перевела средства от концерта жителям Донецкой области". 19 June 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  12. "ДДТ направит 500 тысяч рублей беженцам". dni.ru. 2014-07-05. Retrieved 2015-12-14.

Interview with Yuri Shevchuk in: OLENA CHEKAN – The Quest for a Free Ukraine - Bohdan Rodyuk Chekan (Ed.), DER KONTERFEI 015, Paperback, English, 96 pages, 2015, ISBN   978-3-903043-04-6

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