A report in Monday’s Moscow Times tells how the lyrics of the song “Мой бой” by the Russian pop star Yaroslav Dronov, who goes by the stage name Shaman, which was ostensibly a pro-war anthem, has been subverted by same-sex couples. It is being used to accompany TikTok and other social media videos that shows them engaging in activity that celebrates what the Kremlin would call “extremist” LGBTQ+ lifestyles.”

In the videos “Мой бой,” which means My Fight in English has been changed into the more literal phrase “My Boy.” The original video accompanying the song includes scenes of camouflaged Russian soldiers apparently serving in occupied eastern Ukraine.

The reinterpreted versions, dozens of which have appeared on TikTok since mid-March, show same-sex couples lip-syncing the chorus to the song while they embrace and dance with each other. When considered in the light of the crackdown on LGBTQ+ people and lifestyles in Russia, the lyrics of Shaman’s song seem strangely appropriate:


“This is my fight – until my last breath!

My fight – even if it’s bad!

My fight – until the fire goes out, the heart beats

And I'm alive!

This is my fight – the line is burning!

My fight is to the end, period!

My fight – until the fire goes out, the heart beats

And I’m alive...”

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It’s not the first time that the song has been reinterpreted to the detriment of the singer and his song. The Russian investigative new site, Insider pointed out that when it was first released in July 2023 the German subtitled version on YouTube translated its title as “Mein Kampf” which added a wholly unintended ironic undertone as it was supposed to be celebrating Russia’s war against “Ukrainian Nazis.”

In another propaganda misstep, Russian authorities tried to widely promote the song as the “symbol of its special operations” as an attempt to engage with Russian youth. While the music video is said to have garnered tens of millions of views, it has received more dislikes than likes.


Even more ironically, the “gay” evocations of the song are proving even more popular than the “straight” militaristic original. TikTok users have been thanking Shaman for his beautiful song which some, tongue-in-cheek, say they hope to see as being Russia’s entry for the 2030 Eurovision Song Contest.

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