Good afternoon, dear readers! Today we would like to tell you about the biography of Svyatoslav Ivanovich Vakarchuk, a famous singer, leader of the band “Okean Elzy”, public figure and former politician. Svyatoslav was born on May 14, 1975 in Mukachevo, Zakarpattia region. He is one of the most successful and influential musicians in Ukraine, famous for his songs, compositions, voice and public position.
His most famous projects include the albums Where We Are Not, Model, Supersymmetry, Earth, Without Borders, and others, as well as his participation in the Pora, Our Ukraine, Voice, and other movements. If you want to learn more about the life and work of this outstanding personality, please read our article.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk was born into the family of Ivan Vakarchuk, a famous Ukrainian physicist who was the rector of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Sviatoslav has a younger brother, Oleg, who is also a musician and singer. Sviatoslav has shown aptitude for music, sports and science since childhood. He learned to play the violin, accordion, guitar and piano. He also participated in school theater, KVN, basketball and other hobbies.In 1990, he went on an exchange to Canada, where he was introduced to Western rock music, which greatly influenced his future work.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is married and has two children. His wife, Oksana Kolesnichenko, is the owner of
travel agency. They met in 2000 and were in a civil marriage for a long time. They officially got married in 2015. Their son Ivan was born in 2016, and their daughter Solomiya was born in 2019. Svyatoslav Vakarchuk loves his family very much and tries to spend as much time with them as possible when he is not busy with music or politics.He also does not like to talk about his personal life in the media and believes that family is a very intimate thing. He also does not post photos of his family on social media, but sometimes shares some details about his children with his fans.
In the summer of 2021, it became known that Svyatoslav Vakarchuk had divorced his wife. He announced this on his Instagram page and noted that they remained close friends. They did not disclose the reasons for the divorce, but some media outlets wrote that they had been living apart for a long time and had different views on life. It also turned out that Oksana Kolesnichenko is a pseudonym under which she worked as a stylist and image maker. Her real name is Lyalya Fonareva. They got married under this name in 2015. So you may read about them under different names, but they are the same person.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk graduated from Lviv School No. 4 with advanced English language studies with a silver medal. After school, he entered the Faculty of Physics at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, where he graduated with honors. In 1996, he entered graduate school at the Department of Theoretical Physics at the same university. In 2002, he defended his PhD thesis on “Interaction of the Electromagnetic Field with Dielectric Nanoparticles” and received a PhD in Physics and Mathematics.In 2005, he graduated from the Institute of Postgraduate Education and Pre-University Training of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv with a degree in Business Economics.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk began his musical career in 1992 when he joined the band “Klan Tyshy” as a vocalist.In 1994, the band changed its name to “Okean Elzy” and became one of the most popular rock bands in Ukraine. Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is the author of most of the band’s lyrics and music, as well as its leader and face.Throughout its history, the band has released 10 studio albums, 2 live albums, 1 greatest hits collection and 1 remix album.The band has also won numerous awards, such as “Golden Firebird”, “Tavrian Games”, “Fan TV”, “Muz TV”, “MTV Europe Music Awards” and others.The band has performed at many festivals and concerts in Ukraine and abroad, setting records for the number of spectators and tickets sold. Among the most famous songs of the band are “Get Up”, “Don’t Ask”, “Hugs”, “Shoot”, “911”, “Not Your War” and others.
In addition to the band Okean Elzy, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk also participated in various music projects such as Vnicho, Svyatoslav, Brussels, S.O.K., and others. He has also collaborated with many famous musicians such as Andriy Makarevych, Boris Grebenshchikov, Igor Krutoy, Yuriy Shevchuk, Iryna Bilyk, Tina Karol, Khrystyna Soloviy and others.He has also participated in charity and social events such as Song for Heroes, Maidan, Pro Life, Give a Child a Holiday and others.He has also released two solo albums: “At Night” (2008) and “Brussels” (2019), which received positive reviews from critics and listeners.He also created his own label “Enjoy! Records, which produces and distributes music.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk was also actively involved in political activities, advocating for democratic and European values, Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the fight against corruption, and reforms in education and science. He was one of the leaders of the Pora student movement in the 2000s, which demanded fair elections and political change. He was also one of the initiators and participants of the Orange Revolution in 2004, which protested against the falsification of the presidential election. He also supported the “Revolution of Dignity” in 2013-2014, which opposed the regime of Viktor Yanukovych and favored Ukraine’s European integration.
In 2007, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk was elected as a member of the Ukrainian parliament from the Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense bloc headed by Viktor Yushchenko. He was a member of the Committee on Science and Education and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. He was also a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In September 2008, he resigned his parliamentary mandate, explaining that he wanted to return to music and disagreed with the political situation in the country.
In 2019, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk decided to take part in politics again, creating his own party, Golos, which aimed to renew Ukraine’s political system, bring new, professional and honest people to power, and make Ukraine a strong, modern and European state. He headed the party’s list in the parliamentary elections, where Golos received 5.82% of the vote and 20 seats. He became a Member of Parliament of Ukraine of the eighth convocation, a member of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, and the head of the Voice faction in the parliament. In June 2020, he announced his resignation from the party and faction, but remained a member. He also stated that he would continue to be involved in politics, but also wanted to devote more time to music and education.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is one of the most prominent and influential people in Ukraine with many achievements, including the following:
He is one of the most popular and successful musicians in Ukraine, having sold over 10 million copies of his albums, set records for the number of people attending his concerts, and received numerous music awards and recognitions in Ukraine and abroad.
He is a PhD in Physics and Mathematics who defended his dissertation on “Supersymmetry of the Electron in a Magnetic Field” and has more than 20 scientific publications.
He is an active public figure who has participated in various social and charitable projects, supported democratic and European values, advocated for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the fight against corruption, and reforms in education and science.
He is a former politician who was twice elected to the Ukrainian parliament, was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and created his own party, Golos, which aimed to renew Ukraine’s political system, bring new, professional and honest people to power, and make Ukraine a strong, modern and European state.
He is a laureate of the Vasyl Stus Prize (2014), a holder of the Order of Freedom, an honorary citizen of Kyiv and Lviv, and an Honored Artist of Ukraine.
These are just a few of the achievements of Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, who is an outstanding, talented, courageous and influential personality who has made a significant contribution to the development of music, science, civil society and politics in Ukraine. We hope that you found our article useful and educational. We would like to add a few quotes from Svyatoslav Vakarchuk that reflect his views on life:
“Music is a language that can be used to speak to all people on the planet, regardless of their nationality, religion, political beliefs, and other things.”
“I don’t want to be just a singer. I want to be a citizen of my country, who has the right to express my opinion and participate in its fate.”
“I believe in Ukraine. I believe in its people, in its future, in its opportunities. I believe that we can make our country strong, modern and European. I believe we can change the world for the better.”