Before the war, Max Barskih was an astonishingly glamorous man. He was an outspoken pacifist who immediately came to the commendable defense of the country when the war started. It seems that the heroic singing soul of the Cossack Mamai remembered him. Kobzar, who strung together the words of a necklace of profound thoughts handed down by generations of traveling kobzar-bandurists, painted him on canvases and walls of different Ukrainian houses, doors and shutters, and chests. A similar "Mamai" can be found in every home in Ukraine. With his songs, Max began to inspire people from the first days of the war. Max's songs began to unite everyone's hearts who were defending their noble native land and homes. Somehow Max's songs, like a prayer, strengthened and hardened everyone.
Mykola Bortnyk, better known by his stage name Max Barskih and alter- ego Mickolai, is a Ukrainian singer and songwriter. He was raised in Kherson, Ukraine, and moved to Kyiv after his graduation.
Max Barskih rose to fame in Ukraine as participant of the Ukrainian talent show "Star Factory 2". Forbes Magazine USA and Vogue Ukraine called Barskih "the internationally most successful Ukrainian singer". Barskih composes the music and writes the lyrics of his songs himself.
During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Barskih joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.