Russia, Ukraine war: Zelensky seeks global art community’s support against Russia
The Grammy awards night went down with a sombre moment in solidarity of Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelensky making a surprise appearance in a pre-taped video encouraging the industry’s top artists to “fill the silence” left by Russia’s invasion with music.
Zelensky made the presentation in a pre-taped message he produced ahead of a performance from John Legend of the song: Free, yesterday.
His presentation was merged with a cameo by other Ukrainian singers, Mika Newton, Siuzanna Iglidan and poet, Lyuba Yakimchuk.
“What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people, our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals — even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music, fill it today to tell our story,” Zelensky said.
His appearance on music’s biggest night in the United States comes as global outrage at accusations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine mounts, with the discovery of mass graves and corpses in towns near Kyiv. Big winner Jon Batiste’s performance medley paid subtle tribute to Ukraine’s struggle, with an image of the country’s flag flying in the set’s top corner.