Rehabilitation After Donbas War: The Soldier DJ
8 October, 2018

In 2015, Ukrainian DJ Anatoliy Tapolsky made an unlikely decision: he joined the military as an ordinary soldier.

“There was Euromaidan, I was there, I said that I’m for Ukraine as a lot of people did, and then there’s an opportunity to show if you’re really for Ukraine or not,” Tapolsky told Hromadske in a special documentary project.

While many people close to him couldn’t understand why he chose to serve, he doesn’t regret his decision.

“The army is just a cross-section of Ukraine: many patriotically-minded people, many people who were dragged there by force and don’t care about this war either way,” Tapolsky explains. “I was comfortable there, if one can use such a word. I felt like I was in my element.”  

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After spending a year as a soldier in Donbas, Tapolsky returned to civilian life and resumed work as a DJ.

“It’s my favorite profession,” he says.“What could be better? When you’re playing music that you like, you put it on, and people dance and thank you for this.”  

Now, in addition to making music, he’s also the host of a radio program on Army FM. For Tapolsky, throwing himself into new projects has been the key to his successful return.

“You understand that life doesn’t stop,” he says. “I often think about the army and about my friends. We call each other, and many of them want to return. I think about it, too. But one has to move forward. The best option is work, which I’m doing right now.”

“Habilitation” is a special documentary project by Hromadske about people who survived the war in eastern Ukraine and have found the inner strength and resources to live a full life and contribute to society. These are stories of motivation, confidence, faith and fortitude – of the people who despite all obstacles have reestablished themselves in civilian life.

READ MORE: Rehabilitation After Donbas War: The Tango Teacher

/Made by Oleksandr Nazarov