Mark E Smith's 'Nuke Russia' Doncaster quote resurfaces after Ukraine attack

An infamous quote by late music legend Mark E Smith suggesting ‘nuking Russia’ and comparing Doncaster to Communist East Germany has resurfaced and gone viral following the attack on Ukraine.

By Darren Burke
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 3:27 pm

Smith, lead singer of Manchester post-punk band The Fall and who died in 2018, was famed for his acerbic wit and wisdom – and one of his most famous pearls of wisdom which namechecked Doncaster has taken on a new lease of life following Vladimir Putin’s deadly attack on neighbouring Ukraine.

The remark, which the singer made nearly four decades ago, saw him compare Doncaster to Communist East Germany – and people have been sharing it widely online to show solidarity for Ukraine.

Being quizzed on the politics of the day by a music interviewer back in the 1980s, he replied: "Nuking Russia might not be a bad idea as far as the bleedin’ world is concerned.

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The late Fall singer Mark E Smith.

"They’ve plunged a lot of people into miserable lives.

"You’ve only got to be in East Germany to see it. It’s a horrible way to live. It’s like Doncaster."

The singer died at the age of 60 four years ago.

Whether the band played in Doncaster for Smith to come up with his viewpoint remains unclear - although the Outlook club and Rotters in Silver Street were both popular haunts for the post punk and new wave scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Famously curmudgeonly and cantankerous and responsible for firing a string of musicians from The Fall, his lyrics were often composed in a clipped and abbreviated style and delivered in a trademark slurred, drawl.