LAS VEGAS — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a video message at the Grammy Awards asking for support in telling the story of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a pre-recorded message that aired on the show Sunday, he likened the invasion to a deadly silence that threatens to snuff out the dreams and lives of Ukrainians, including children.
“Our musicians wear body armor not tuxedos. They sing for the injured in hospital, even for those who can’t hear it,” he said in English. “But the music will still break through.”
The Recording Academy, with its partner Global Citizen, before the ceremony highlighted a social media campaign called “Stand Up For Ukraine” to raise money and support during the humanitarian crisis.
“Fill the silence with your music. Fill in today to tell our story. Tell the truth about war on your social networks, on TV, support us in any way you can, but don’t be silent. And then peace will come for all. our city,” Zelenskyy said.
Following Zelenskyy’s message, John Legend performed his song “Free” with Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, as images from the war flashed on the screen behind them.
The war in Ukraine took a particularly gruesome turn Sunday when Ukrainian troops entered the town of Bucha, recently held captive by Russian soldiers, finding the bodies of people who had been shot, some after being tied up and tortured. Ukrainian authorities have accused Russia of war crimes, and European leaders have called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. Russia says the atrocities were perpetrated by Ukraine.
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