Viktor Tsoi: Russia’s fallen rock star

Faris Mustafa
14 July 2015

The little-known rock hero of Russia died tragically in a car crash 25 years ago — but his spirit lives on through street art in St Petersburg and Russia

It’s 25 years since Russian alt-rock star Viktor Tsoi died in a car crash at the age of 28. Tsoi was the charismatic frontman of Russian rock band Kino, whose politically-charged lyrics defined a generation of disillusioned youths in 1980s Soviet Russia. Though Tsoi’s music is little-known outside the former USSR, in Russia his cultural impact lingers. Street art in memorial to the fallen hero can be found throughout St Petersburg, his home city, and in Moscow stands what is known as the ‘Tsoi Wall’, a stretch of graffiti, beside Arbat Street, in his honour. You’ll find the oft-repeated phrase, ‘Tsoi lives’.