Tatu singer announces run for Russian parliament with backing from Putin’s party
Tatu singer Yulia Volkova is running to become an MP in Russia – and in a surprising turn of events, she has the backing of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
Volkova shot to fame with her Tatu bandmate Lena Katina when they released “All The Things She Said” in 2002. The song became a global hit, while its music video – which showed Volkova and Katina passionately kissing while dressed as schoolgirls – caused relentless controversy.
Almost two decades later, Yulia Volkova has announced that she is leaving pop music behind to pursue a career in politics.
“I have taken the first step,” Volkova said, according to The Sun. The former singer insisted that Putin’s political adversaries “will not catch up with us” as she pledged her allegiance to the Russian ruler’s party.
Volkova has not yet detailed what platform she plans to run on, nor has she provided voters with a manifesto. The election is due to take place in September.
Sergei Perminov, deputy secretary of the United Russia general council, confirmed that Volka will be battling for a seat in the Russian Duma.
“Volkova is participating,” he said. “We are an open party – we invite everyone to participate in our selection procedure, bold candidates, interesting, bright, honest, professional.
“People will decide who is worthy to represent them in the State Duma.”
Tatu singer Yulia Volkova has made anti-gay comments
The news that Volkova is being backed by Putin’s party may come as a surprise to some. The Russian president, who is widely considered to have significantly weakened the country’s democratic system, is firmly opposed to any advancements in LGBT+ rights.
In 2013, Putin signed the country’s fiercely criticised gay propaganda bill into law, which prohibits the promotion of homosexuality in Russia.
Volkova has previously stated that she is bisexual – however, she has also faced severe criticism from fans for her anti-gay comments.
In 2012, she told a Russian LGBT+ website: “I still like boys and girls. Even my current husband Volodya, sitting in front of me, would confirm that he knows about my stories with the girls. For me, this is a current issue. Quite recently, I had a girlfriend that I liked… This is not even the echoes of the past, this is what I now live in.”
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However, during a 2014 appearance on a Ukrainian game show, Volkova said she would condemn her son if he came out as gay.
“Yes, I would condemn him because I believe that a real man must be a real man… a man has no right to be a fag,” she said.
Volkova continued: “Two girls together – not the same thing as two men together. It seems to me that lesbians look aesthetically much nicer.”
She went on to claim that she is not “against gays”, saying they are “better than murderers, thieves, or drug addicts”.
While the music video for “All The Things She Said” depicted Volkova and Katina as lovers, the pair later claimed the idea was that of producer and director Ivan Shapovalov.
Speaking in 2004, Katina said: “He made us out to be be lesbians when we were just singing for lesbians. We wanted people to understand them and not judge them. That they are as free as anyone else.”