Russia singer killed in occupied Ukraine after missile strike hits concert hall during her performance

By Isaac M November 23, 2023

A Russian singer entertaining soldiers in occupied Ukraine has been killed after a missile hit the concert hall in which she was performing, local reports have confirmed.

Polina Menshikh was performing at a dancehall in the town of Kumachove, Donetsk Oblast, roughly 37 miles from the frontline when two missiles allegedly struck the area on 19 November.

The first missile hit the car park outside and the second struck the hall, according to Russian commentators on Telegram.

A video circling among Russian military blogger channels appears to show the moment the first missile hits the car park while Ms Menshikh was singing inside.

A few seconds later, the screen then goes black before abruptly cutting out.

Ms Menshikh later died in hospital of her injuries. She had been performing for the Russian soldiers to mark Artilleryman’s Day.

Footage circling on Telegram purported to show Polina Menshikh singing moments before a missile struck the concert hall


A Ukrainian army spokesperson has confirmed media reporting of the incident. At least 20 Russian soldiers also died as a result of the strike, according to other Ukrainian channels.

The attack has caused considerable frustration among the Russian milblogger community on Telegram.

Mikhail Zvinchuk, author of the ‘Rybar’ channel on Telegram, one of the most followed war bloggers on the social media site, described the incident as the result of “stupid” local commanders.

“The tragedy of the situation lies in the fact that the fighters who were in the recreation centre most likely themselves understood perfectly well how large gatherings of people in a combat zone would end,” he wrote.

“And they clearly put their knowledge into practice on the front line, camouflaging positions and avoiding clusters in order to avoid falling under enemy attacks.

“But in the end, all previous efforts went to waste because of one stupid decision to gather in a huge crowd in a conspicuous place.

“And its price, among other things, was the death of a female singer who, unlike the others, had no combat experience, and who entrusted her life to seemingly experienced people.”

Alexander Garmaev, a Russian war journalist, claimed the strike had left many Russian soldiers feeling the need to shelter further away from the frontline when off-duty, which he called “pushing back the safe rear”.

Portal, a theatre studio based in St Petersburg associated with Ms Menshikh, said a performance on 9 December will be dedicated to the singer.


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