To Defenders of Freedom

Music therapist Inna joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine

A music therapist by vocation, Inna Korolenko believes that the healing power of music is as indispensable as ever in her new role as a soldier. 

When Russia’s full-scale invasion started, Inna Korolenko could not bear the uncertainty and constant worries about the family. She decided to act – and joined the Territorial Defence Forces. She has since learned to shoot, launch drones, work in liaison, and has adapted to army life, although she admits it has not always been easy. 

Photo from personal archive

Korolenko performed her first task in the western part of Ukraine, and now she is waiting to be transferred to another brigade, to perform combat tasks on the battlefield. “I joined the army not to sit in the rear, not just to wear a uniform, but with a specific goal. Most of all, I want to win the war, return home, hug my friends, family, tell everyone it’s over, and return to my civilian profession,” Korolenko said in an interview to

In her civil life, Inna worked as a music therapist with children: they could choose an instrument from her collection of 40 and learn how to play it. 

Photo from personal archive
Photo from personal archive

But for now, Inna got gusli – a Slavic multi-string plucked instrument – and two small drums with her. A woman is convinced that music plays an important role, even in the army, because it helps to relax, let out everything that has accumulated inside, and tune in to something good.

Explore more