Surprise: Tatu Not Having A Great Time At The Sochi Olympics

Big news everybody! My favourite band Tatu are performing at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Olympics today!  The faux-lesbian pop duo have been officially disbanded since 2011 following a much-storied and tumultuous career, but they’ll be miraculously on hand to usher in the most talented athletes in the world with their timeless 2003 hit “Нас Не Догонят (Not Gonna Get Us).”  Let’s revisit the good times:

It seems curious that despite Tatu’s entire public persona being attached to the idea that the two were scandalous lovers (which was 100% manufactured, but titillating nonetheless), they’ve been tapped to represent their country under such repressive circumstances.  Despite a poorly-received law banning anything that might be perceived as “homosexual propaganda,” the girl group are most notorious for making out in schoolgirl uniforms on talk shows and in their melodramatic music videos.  During the warm-up show, which will not be broadcast outside Russia, singers Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova (now 29 and 28, respectively) will serenade Russia’s athletes as they enter the stadium.  As more than one news outlet has reported, it does seem that Tatu’s very existence, nevermind presence at this event constitutes homosexual propaganda.

The ceremony itself is meant to celebrate Russia’s storied past, beginning in ancient times and encompassing the country’s entire history. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Church domes will float above the newly-built stadium, giant magic horses will glow in the sky, and Russian heavy weight boxing champion and the lawmaker Nikolai Valuyev will perform as Uncle Styopa, a benign giant policeman from a Russian children’s book.”  The ceremony is also said to involve Russian conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Yuri Bashment.

Earlier yesterday morning, Lena Katina tweeted: “They have invited us to perform at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, but they’re treating the artists like shit!!! The organization is horrible.”  The tweet has since been deleted.

With all the controversy surrounding Tatu’s role in the Olympic opening ceremonies, the best thing we can do is celebrate our own freedom with this beautiful piece of homosexual propaganda:

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Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 464 articles for us.


  1. This news is really baffling to me.

    I guess if everything is rainbows and Tatu, nobody will be able to distinguish between Putin-sponsored wtfery and acts of protest…?

  2. I think Russia has some serious branding issues. On the one hand they’re like, “NO GAY.” On the other, “These fake lesbians are the most profitable thing to come out of Russia ever so…$$?”

  3. I’m always yelling about how messed up the United States is, but then there’s always Russia to put things in perspective.


    This post has seriously hit me with queer teen angst nostalgia watching the music video on MTV.


    I was so young.

  5. So ironic. Any crazy timing, because I just found all my old TATU songs on my iPod! Definitely will be sharing this post to FB.

  6. yeah i read about this yesterday and had to check i wasn’t reading the onion or something

    that song though

  7. I will 100% admit one of their albums is currently on rotation in my car. I still remember when their first video came out (back when TRL was still THE show to watch after school).

  8. This is clearly one of Putin’s bound-to-fail attempts to please the international community; a vain effort to put a ‘mask’ the rabid, violent homophobia they are being grilled for.

    Nonetheless…F*** YEAAHHH T.A.T.U!! After all these years, Yulia and I are still meant to be.

  9. Currently watching the Opening Ceremony, which features copious Tchaikovsky… surely one of the greatest gay men ever!

  10. Can someone tell me about the fake lesbian controversy? My understanding was that they found out one of the girls was dating a guy. Is there any proof they weren’t sleeping together?

    I ask because, as a bisexual lady, “fake lesbian” strikes a personal nerve. If they are in fact straight as 2 by 4s, then it’s legit. If it’s just based on speculation, shitty

    • As someone who long-ago helped build a wall, I gotta say, it’s actually really really hard to find actual straight 2x4s. Heh.

    • I’m beginning to understand that a common attitude with groups like Tatu is that the girls can be as overtly-homo together, but as long as they still have babies with men they’re benign and ignored. I think once Yulia became pregnant, the lesbian scandal was dismissed because then OBVIOUSLY it’s just an act/phase because bisexuals don’t exist and now the women are being proper women by getting marriedmarried and becoming moms. (I have these feelings and speculations about a lot of my fave Ukrainian singers…)

    • actually as the girls got older, they ended up being pretty vocal about not actually being in a relationship or in any way together – both ended up in relationships with men (although that doesn’t prove anything). they did say a few times that they viewed the lesbian angle of their public persona as more of a performance or a role than anything else, and when they broke up they literally said that although they supported the LGBTQ community, it “wasn’t fun playing lesbians anymore.”

      really, part of what made them so fascinating to me when they first hit it big stateside was how contrived and kinda pervy the whole thing was. i’m a big tatu fan, i own all their albums and can sing most of their songs in half-assed, mostly phonetic russian, but you do have to admit that their legacy is a particularly strange one.

      • Yeah, they’ve both been pretty vocal about not having been in a relationship together. However, Yulia has come out as bisexual and said she had a long term relationship with a woman named Anna. So there’s that!

        • Whoa, I had no idea she came out!! Do you have a sourcesource? (I’m fine with either language)

        • Well, I searched YouTube and couldn’t find the original video I saw (not surprising, as this was a year ago at least), which had a lot about Lena’s feelings on the fake relationship. But there’s this video that’s a shorter clip of that longer interview, which does feature the bit of the interview where Yulia talks about having relationships with women. And they said the woman’s name was Anya, not Anna (although that’s the diminutive, right?).

          Click here for video!

      • I think like many young people, it’s possible they were, and still are, trying to figure it all out.
        Let us not forget, they were born and raised in Russia. Not the Queermo Capital of the World.

        As much as I love them and want nothing more than to defend everything they do, can I say how boring that Olympic performance was?

    • It’s been awhile since I was an encyclopedia of Tatu knowledge (don’t get me wrong, I do still look up old videos on a regular basis. especially whenever I hear E.T. by Katy Perry on the radio), but from what I remember, they were quite young when they first started (15 and 16?) and the lesbian angle was pushed by their manager, who was in general a hugely skeevey dude. I think they were tired of pretending to be in a relationship, and the control this guy had over them had lessened as they grew up and become more and more popular, but the “scandal” first broke when Yulia announced she was pregnant.

      @papi, here is an article with a quote by Yulia regarding her bisexuality

      • Thanks, Nova. I think this buys into my above speculation about how female sexuality is tolerated as long as a woman ultimately ends up with a man. Le sigh.

  11. I swear that this song came up on shuffle at around about the time when they would have been playing in Russia. I felt all nostalgic for a bit and dismissed it – now – ALL the conspiracy theories!!

  12. I was about eleven when they first became popular in the U.S, and I can remember watching their music videos religiously whenever they came on tv. At the time I had no idea why I found them so fascinating, although looking back now I think I can guess.

  13. I feel like the move to due this, is a passive aggressive message to the public, something along the lines of “gayness can be cured,” or is a “phase,” or even “just for show, like entertainers,” due to the fact that they are BOTH married, were never confirmed gayelles, and 1 has a child, conceived within her hetero marriage partner man person. Though Yulia has said she is bisexual, it’s hard to know whether it was part of the whole game, but for the health of our community I’m just gonna go with she really is bc it’s her right to identify however she pleases.

    THAT SAID – Yulia will always have a special place in my heart, and also could we or the media have not come up with a better term than “fake/faux lesbian?” How about:

    Romantically Open Minded
    Touchy Feely
    Sensually Gratuitous
    Non-Hetero Normative
    Cutely Dressed
    – or –
    “Open Minded Female Pop Group”

  14. i guess ‘homosexual propaganda’ is okay if it generates $$$$. how capitalist. haha

    awww, ‘all the things she said’ reminds me of my first love in high school, when the song came out. <3

  15. You know back around 2000 I visited Cali two summers in a row, and I had a Russian friend there who listened to T.A.T.U. and translated some of the lyrics for me… in one of the songs I remember she said there was some phrase like “Gay boy, why do you like hard things?” So actually, for all their pseudo-pretend lesbian-ishness my understanding is that they were a bit homophobic themselves… I can’t help but wonder if maybe that played a role in how they were viewed/accepted in Russia.

    • “Malchik Gay” is just about lusting after something they can’t have: A gay boy.
      I don’t think it’s rooted in homophobia.

      In fact, that song totes demonstrates they’ve been bisexual all along.

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