Rock star defiance facing Putin

Ruslana Lyzhychko and crew

Ruslana Lyzhychko was an honored guest at the 2014 “Women in the World” summit in New York City. She spoke to TheBlaze in an exclusive interview, saying that despite death threats, “I will fight for Ukraine. I’m not afraid of Putin.” (Photo courtesy of Ruslana Lyzhychko)

Sara Carter writing for The Blaze offers a story of courage from an Ukrainian rock star leading her nation to freedom.  From an exclusive interview Carter writes: Ukrainian rock star Ruslana Lyzhychko sat with her back to the camera, putting the final touches to her makeup.

“We are the faces of Ukraine,” she said smiling. “Do you think this is a face Putin would fear?”

Whether the Russian president is afraid of Ruslana’s — she goes by her first name only — ability to lead the opposition in Ukraine, no one can say. Her mission to save her republic, democracy and to keep her nation whole is central to her life now, and she says she won’t back down until Putin leaves Ukraine.

Ukrainian pop singer and winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, Ruslana Lyzhychko, talks on a stage during a rally of the opposition on the Independence Square in Kiev.

Winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, Ruslana Lyzhychko, sings on stage during a rally of the opposition on the Independence Square in Kiev.

But time is running short. On Sunday night, what are being called pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings in the three key eastern cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv. On Monday, rebels occupied Donetsk’s regional government building, calling it the “people’s republic” and setting a May 11 referendum to secede from Ukraine, like Crimea’s last month.

“Everybody [in Ukraine] understands that Putin is a really bad guy … that he’s a monster,” Ruslana said, noting that Russia’s propaganda arm has tried to turn the world against Ukraine and create the false reality that Russian-speaking Ukrainians are calling out for Moscow’s help.

“I’m not afraid of you,” she said, referring to Putin. “We will stand up against him. Get out of my country.”

The dark-haired firebrand, who served in Ukraine’s parliament from 2006 to 2007 and was listed by Forbes magazine last year as one of the 10 most influential women in the world, was in New York City this past week to attend the 2014 “Women in the World” summit, to ask United Nations allies for help. She was honored for her humanitarian efforts by media executive Tina Brown.

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