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War torn Russian-born Irish country singer Larissa Tormey 'horrified' by the war in Ukraine

Larissa, who has lived here for 20 years, also told of her fears that Irish fans would turn against her after two Russian ballets were cancelled


Larissa Tormey

Larissa Tormey

Larissa Tormey

Russian-born Irish country star Larissa Tormey says she is "horrified" by the war in Ukraine.

Singer Larissa, who is married to a Westmeath farmer and has lived here for the last 20 years, also told of her fears that Irish fans would turn against her after two Russian ballets were cancelled.

However, the country music star says she was reduced to tears by the warm reception she received after performing at a concert in a Galway hotel last week.

"People were so nice, they gave me a standing ovation and then they sang along with me," Larissa tells the Sunday World.

"It made me cry. It's amazing how people have treated me. I'm so lucky to have landed in this lovely country. I know ordinary Russian people are having problems in other countries, but the Irish are something else.

"I suppose because you went through so much yourselves as a nation, you suffered so much and that's why the Irish are very understanding.

"I was trying not to put anything at all on social media, but people started to text me and say, 'I hope that you don't feel that you should be suffering, Larissa. We love you and you will always be our singer.' It was amazing support I must say."

Larissa stressed that she is totally opposed to the war in Ukraine.

"Of course I am horrified by what I'm seeing on TV," she says. "My heart is bleeding for all those people who have to flee the country with their possessions in a little suitcase. It's shocking. It should never have happened in this day and age.

"The ordinary Russian people have nothing to do with what is happening and they are going to be victims of this as well. It's devastating to see the country going back to the old times.

"The last time I was in Russia, just before Covid, I was very impressed with the young generation. I hadn't been there for a long time and I found the young generation of Russia very nice, very bright, very positive and very modern.

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"I thought, 'that's great, a new future and a bright future for Russia.' It's shocking looking at what is happening now."

Larissa said that she is currently trying to organise a fund-raising concert in aid of Ukraine in Co. Westmeath. "My best friend, Svetlana, who lives in Dublin, is from Ukraine," she reveals.

"I don't have a sister, but Svetlana is my sister. That's how close we are.

"One of her best friends in Ukraine had to pack up with the family and children and drive across the country and hide in the mountains. I mean, that's shocking. It feels like it's some sort of horror movie, that it's not real.

"Now it's most important that we keep a connection and that people don't start to hate one another because we are from Russia, from Ukraine."

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