Former President Kaljulaid joins Ukrainian rock star for morning run

Former President Kersti Kaljulaid after a morning run with Okean Elzy singer Sviatoslav Vakarchuk.
Former President Kersti Kaljulaid after a morning run with Okean Elzy singer Sviatoslav Vakarchuk. Source: Sviatoslav Vakarchuk/Instagram

Former Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid joined Ukrainian rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk for a morning run through the streets of Tallinn on Thursday morning. Vakarchuk was in town to play a show with his band Okean Elzy at Saku Suurhall as part of their Help for Ukraine tour.

Okean Elzy front man Sviatoslav Vakarchuk described himself on stage at Tallinn's Saku Suurhall on Thursday night as "the kind of crazy guy who goes running every day." However, it probably isn't every day that the lead singer of one of Ukraine's biggest bands is joined on his morning jog by a former head of state.

Yet, on Thursday morning, following a day after an interview with ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" was aired, in which Vakarchuk invited people in Tallinn to join him for a morning run through the capital, that's exacty what happened.

During their run, Kaljulaid and Vakarchuk stopped to talk with Ukrainian refugees waiting at one of Tallinn's many help centers on Niine tänav, as well as in front of the Russian Embassy on Pikk tänav to see the messages of support for Ukraine and protest against Russia's full-scale military invasion.

In a video posted on Instagram, Vakarchuk thanked Kaljulaid, as well as the Estonian people, for giving their constant and unwavering support to Ukraine.

In a set that lasted over two hours and featured two encores, Okean Elzy performed to a crowd packed with Ukrainians and locals alike at Tallinn's Saku Suurhall on Thursday night.

Addressing the crowd in English, Ukrainian and even a few words of Estonian, Vakarchuk thanked Kaljulaid and the Estonian people once again, and also described Tallinn as a beautiful city, which reminded him of his hometown of Lviv, "especially Old Tallinn."

During the show, the band were also joined on stage by Ukrainian singers Vitalina Mušenko and Alia Khadžabadinova, from Kharkiv and Džankoi respectively. Before the war, both were contestants in Ukrainian music talent show "The Voice of Ukraine," but have since relocated to Estonia.

You can see Okean Elzy front man Sviatoslav Vakarchuk's full interview with "Ringvaade," which was conducted in English, here.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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