Techno collective dances to a new beat in northern Ukraine

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Young Ukrainians volunteer in Ivanivka, Ukraine, on Aug. 6.

KYIV — A group of young Ukrainians formed by techno music promoters has been spending their weekends helping out with repair work and removing debris in a province that has been devastated by attacks since Russia’s invasion of the country.

People involved in Ukraine’s techno music scene before the conflict formed a volunteer collective called Repair Together in around April.

The group, which hosts two-day camping trips to support devastated communities in the northern Ukrainian province of Chernihiv, has also been helping elderly residents who are unable to clear up after attacks due to the heavy lifting involved.

The idea of being able to contribute to the rebuilding of the country with friends and music appears to have struck a chord among people, with more than 100 volunteers setting out every weekend.

The group posts information about its activities on Instagram and collects donations to cover the costs of repairs.

On Aug. 6, about 150 people traveled to Ivanivka near the city of Chernihiv in large buses and removed debris while music played through speakers they had brought with them, working in temperatures of about 30 C.

“I have a lot of free time and no plans so it’s easy to help,” said volunteer Maria Kleimonova, 30. “When I see broken glass and dishes, I feel really sad because it’s like whole lives have been destroyed. People have to leave here but there’s nowhere for them to go. I hope I can help them move forward somehow,” Kleimonova said.

Antonina Harbuz, 59, whose house had been completely destroyed, said, “I’m very thankful because I don’t have the money to hire a demolition company.”