Singer from Ukraine fighting on frontline to perform during fundraiser in Skegness

A singer from the Ukraine who put down her music and took up arms and fight for her country will perform at a fundraising concert in Skegness.

A recording of Ira Lobanok  singing one of her  cover songs - Adele's 'Hello from the Other Side' - will be played during the gig. .
A recording of Ira Lobanok singing one of her cover songs - Adele's 'Hello from the Other Side' - will be played during the gig. .

Ira Lobanok, 21, has been keeping in touch with a former European tour manager, who is now back in Skegness raising money by organising live events locally to help refugees displaced because of the conflict with Russia.

"This young woman should be performing gigs but in the space of two weeks everything changed for her," said Ian Russell, who is organising the event at the Seaview pub tomorrow night (Friday). "Because she is female she could have left the Ukraine when the conflict started but instead she chose to stay, learn how to fire a rifle, join the men who have stayed behind and fight for her country."

Ian, who ran Scorpio Promotions organising tours for up-and-coming bands mainly in Germany before the Covid-19 pandemic, knows all too well what it is like to be left with nothing.

Ian Russell is organising a fundraiser for Ukraine refugees at the Seaview Pub in Skegness on Friday, April 8, starting at 8pm.

He managed to get back to Skegness before total lockdown, but with just £50 in his pocket ended up spending months living in a tent on the beach.

Now living in supported accommodation, he says he is raising money for the refugees as a way of saying thank you for the help he received when he needed it most.

"People call me a hero but I'm not," he said. "What I went through is nothing like what the refugees are facing."

The main charity Ian is supporting is the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal DEC. He is also supporting Fluchtlingshilfe UKRAINE.

Ira Lobanok chose to stay in the Ukraine and learn to fight for her country.

"I chose these charities because people can see where the money is going," explained Ian. "I have managed to keep in touch with Ira and message her regularly to check she is OK.

"We have offered to help her but all she asks is we raise money to help the refugees and spread the word about what is happening in the country."

Venues are giving their premises free for the fundraisers.

This weekend’s events are free but audiences will be invited to make a donation to the Ukraine chaities.

The gig at the Seaview Pub on North Parade tomorrow features local band Reverley.

A David Bowie tribute is at the Vine Hotel in Chapel St Leonards on Saturday, starting at 7pm.