German rock band Rammstein’s lead singer Till Lindemann has reportedly been spotted helping Ukrainian refugees at Berlin’s main station. This follows a post on the band’s website criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine posted on March 4, 2022, which is offered in three translations on the page: English, Ukrainian and Russian, respectively.
In the statement, Rammstein voiced their sentiments and connection to those affected: “Above all at this moment, we feel particular grief for the suffering of the Ukrainian people… all members of the band have friends, associates, partners, fans in both lands.”
As of March 12, CNN reports “The humanitarian situation remains bleak as Ukrainian authorities report limited success in securing the evacuation of civilians from the worst-affected areas.” Cities across the country have been battered by Russian forces; a French government source says that, nevertheless, “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state of mind remains ‘determined.’”
The aid of civilians is honorable in any capacity, especially because an estimated 4 million people are expected to flee Ukraine. That being said, Rammstein have had an interesting relationship and involvement with Russian military propaganda. At times, they have played nice with Russian authorities and their messages, such as when they recorded Soviet war song “Lubimiy Gorod” (translated: “Favorite/Beloved City”) and performed the song live in Moscow’s Red Square at a military festival. At other times, Rammstein has taken stands at the opposite end of the spectrum, such as when Rammstein guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers kissed while performing in Moscow. This display violates Russia’s infamous 2013 gay propaganda law, which aims to eliminate any contact children may have with homosexuality in media content.
Rammstein has expressed their support for Ukraine and dissent for the Russian invasion and violence against Ukrainians, and they have even addressed their Russian fans against the attacks on Ukraine, which Roskomnadzor has ordered to be dubbed as a “special military operation.” In the memo Rammstein posted on their website, they concluded with this statement: “We acknowledge the desperation that many Russian fans may feel when faced with the actions of their government, and we want to remember the humanity shared by both Russian and Ukrainian citizens.”