Radio Quarantine – Russian War Songs

Nov. 2020 Youtube playlist from RuskiMark

This one doesn’t necessarily fall into the standard Doomer playlists populating the colder corners of Youtube but it recalls the same era, a time straddling the fall of the USSR and their struggles after the fall, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It’s a far-off vibe, melancholic and reflective, like a soldier far from home, missing someone… missing something… wondering what the fuck he’s doing and what it might be about. Not just wondering what the war is about, but existence itself. That’s the vibe. I know it well enough. There have been times when I feel that way sitting in the warmth of my own home. Sometimes home feels far away from home. It’s not a trench or a battlefield in Chechnya, but it can seem as distant. I get it.

It’s okay Wojak. You’re not the first young man to be picked up for whatever rhyme or reason to go fight for some vague concept or symbol. It’s not like defending your own home, is it. You think it’s connected until you get there and you realize it’s someone else’s home, and they are fighting tooth and nail to keep it, and to keep you out.

It’s not new though. Old men have never had any problem sending young men away like that, for ideas and symbols. They’ve even acquired a talent for talking young men into doing it voluntarily. That’s the worst abuse of all. Some men think it’s righteous. I don’t think anyone really ever wraps their head around the possibility that they will die for it. Not until they get where they’re going and the fighting starts. It all gets very real then.

Of course this is all second hand information. The old men never talked me into it. It’s what I grew up in though. There was Southeast Asia and the aftermath. There were various incursions here and there, the Middle East, etc. The Russians were doing the same thing in Afghanistan and Chechnya and Georgia. I suppose other countries had shipped men off away from their homes also. It’s how it goes. It’s all second hand for me though, like I said. The lies seemed very transparent. I wasn’t going. It wasn’t happening.

I don’t speak Russian. These songs are of an age. They may be anti-war. They may speak of grotesque nationalism, which of course as soon as you export it beyond your borders is simply ugly imperialism. The music of these ages comes out the same in any language though. There is a thread of heartsickness and sadness. That’s not quite where my heart and feelings are this morning, but I am experiencing a certain… distance… not really melancholy, but… apart-ness.

Tracklist:

  • 00:00​ Lyube – Давай за?
  • 04:08​ Unknown – Don’t Tell Mom I’m In Chechnya
  • 07:15​ Kino – Gruppa Krovi
  • 11:54​ Молчат Дома – Тоска
  • 15:00​ Мой двор – Здравствуй, мама
  • 17:35​ Lyube – Комбат
  • 22:40​ Soviet movie “Two soldiers” (1943). Singer: Mark Bernes – The Dark Night
  • 25:46​ Alexander Doroshenko – Swallowing Dust
  • 31:16​ Марина Журавлева Я не та (Russia, USSR, 1989)
  • 35:48​ Song Taken from The Soviet Experience Doc – Oh Afghanistan
  • 38:50​ Карабах – армейская песня
  • 42:07​ Привет – сестрёнка
  • 45:22​ 5Nizza – Soldat
  • 48:34​ Караван/Caravan
  • 51:43​ сд – я люблю жить

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