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Singing Trucker Hits Kremlin On All Cylinders

  • Dmitry Volchek
  • Farangis Najibullah

Vadim Dubovsky sings from the cab in one of his YouTube videos.

Vadim Dubovsky sings from the cab in one of his YouTube videos.

When Vadim Dubovsky hits the highway, his big rig transforms into a well-tuned, Putin-fighting machine.

The Donetsk-born trucker, who moved to the United States 10 years ago, has no love for the Kremlin's actions in his native Ukraine. And he is low on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Very, very low.

That becomes clear once you listen to his silky smooth baritone belting out operatic rants from behind the wheel.

In "Hell Continues To Burn," Dubovsky croons about Russia's return to its Cold War ways of blaming the West for all its problems and misfortunes.

He warns that Putin will be held accountable for the annexation of Crimea, the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the Malaysian airliner brought down in the conflict zone.

"You will not be forgiven. Neither for the Boeing, nor for Crimea, nor Donbas."

Dubovsky's song warns Putin "not to expect mercy" for actions that "will not be forgiven."

It predicts Putin will be put on trial at The Hague and end up in hell "teaching" demons.

Dubovsky has attracted thousands of YouTube hits for his rolling performances, sung in Russian or Ukrainian. "Do Russians Want A War?" and "Putin -- Khuilo Of Khuilos" have been viewed more than 200,000 times. Other songs on his expanding list include, "Putin, Don't Expect Mercy" and "The Anti-Convoy March."

Aside from frequently referring to Putin as "khuilo," a derogatory term popularized by an anti-Putin soccer chant that is loosely translated as dickhead, Dubovsky refers to the Russian president as "Putler" and predicts he will soon be "kaput."

His performances parody popular Soviet-era songs and even Russian national anthem. Dubovsky says he writes the lyrics and then "carefully chooses the music," adding that he does everything himself.

Once a professional musician -- he decided to stay in the United States for good while on his third traveling concert tour to the country -- Dubovsky took up his new profession as truck driver upon moving to Chicago.

Like many of his fellow emigrants, Dubovsky closely follows the events in Russian and Ukrainian.

He believes the fighting in his native Donetsk is "the result of the carefully plotted provocation" by Russia.

"I was deeply upset by the occupation of Crimea, and couldn't come to terms with it," Dubovsky told RFE/RL's Russian Service. "Russia -- in violation of all the international norms and agreements -- brazenly seized Ukrainian territory."

Dubovsky says he is impressed by the YouTube views and reaction he has received online, including negative comments and "threats."

"But it's all happening in a virtual world, and nothing has changed in my real life," he adds.

Dubovsky says he would have voted for Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine's recent presidential election if he were a Ukrainian citizen.

He hopes the events in Ukraine "are all for the best" and that Ukraine will become a truly European country.

As for Russia, Dubovsky expects there will an end to Putin's reign "soon enough."

"I hope I will live to see the day when Russia becomes a truly democratic country," Dubovsky says.

Written by Farangis Najibullah based on an interview conducted by RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Dmitry Volchek
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