Who is Misha Katsurin? Son launches Father Believe website to help Ukraine

Bruno Cooke March 10, 2022
Who is Misha Katsurin? Son launches Father Believe website to help Ukraine

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Misha Katsurin is Ukrainian, but his father lives in Russia. His Instagram post from 27 February about how his father didn’t believe Russia had invaded Ukraine has gone viral, leading to an appearance on MSNBC. Now he’s launched a website to spread information about the war. Papapover, meaning ‘Father Believe’, is for Ukrainians whose family members don’t believe the war is taking place.

Who is Misha Katsurin?

He is, among other things, a Ukrainian restaurateur based in Kyiv. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he evacuated his family to Hungary. 

Misha Katsurin, originally from Verdansk but living until recently in Kyiv, is also a musical artist and YouTube personality. His channel has 152,000 subscribers while his two uploads, both recent, total four million views. He also posts music to YouTube via a separate channel. His most popular musical upload has more than 160,000 views.

He posts to Instagram regularly. Misha has a following of 137,000, likely boosted by the viral success of his 27 February upload in which he revealed how he came to terms with his father’s beliefs about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Its first line reads: “My own father does not believe me (translated by Google).”

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MSNBC featured Misha Katsurin in its broadcasting today (Thursday, 10 March 2022). During the interview, he described the interactions he had with his father as “totally mind-blowing”.

“He’s a close person to me. He’s my father. I’m his son. And when you call your father you expect him to believe what you are saying.”

Misha Katsurin launches Papapover (Father Believe) website to support Ukraine

“Almost everyone who has relatives in Russia,” Misha wrote in a follow-up Instagram post a week ago “faced a similar problem.”

He encouraged his followers to: “Call your loved ones in Russia! It’s hard for them. And it’s already scary. Help them, tell the truth.”

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Source: YouTube [MSNBC]

Katsurin also announced the launch of the Papapover website to “help you bring the truth to your relatives in Russia in a balanced way”.

Papapover is available in English and Russian, and lays out how to combat what it describes as “Kremlin myths” about the war in Ukraine.

Google translates the website’s domain name, “papapover”, as “daddy believe”; it has a correlate website, Father Believe (fatherbelieve.com).

In Misha’s words, why didn’t his father believe him about Russia and Ukraine?

That his father didn’t call him from Nizhny Novgorod, where he lives and works as a security guard in a monastery, after Russia invaded Ukraine didn’t come as a major surprise.

“If he doesn’t call me, probably he doesn’t know what’s going on,” Misha said.

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What surprised Misha Katsurin was that, when he described to his father how he was having to evacuate his young son and daughter from Ukraine because of the war, his father “started arguing”.

He claims his father replied: “In reality, Russia is saving you from the Nazi regime. The Russian soldiers are giving food and warm clothes to Ukrainian people.”

Misha continued: “After five minutes, I said goodbye.”

Now, however, he says his father is changing his mind. Misha said: “Each day I try to (explain) a small step for him to understand what’s going on. I think it’s a long way.”

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.