Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reminded Americans that the Russian invasion is still very much so underway, while the entertainment industry celebrated itself at the 2022 Grammy Awards on Sunday.
Zelenskyy appeared virtually at the ceremony, by way of a pre-taped message from an underground bunker, which was reportedly recorded over the weekend.
He urged viewers to “tell the truth” about the war on social media and television, in an effort to support Ukraine in any way they can, with the exception of silence.
“The war. What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars,” he began. “Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. We’ll never see them drawing.”
He explained that parents are “happy” to wake up with their children in bomb shelters every morning, because it means their family is still alive. “The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence,” he added.
Zelenskyy also noted that the musicians of Ukraine don’t perform for paying audiences at theaters anymore, now they play for the victims of the war.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals,” he remarked. “Even to those who cannot hear them, but their music will break through.”
Zelenskyy urged Grammy artists to help keep Ukraine’s struggle in the public eye with their expansive social platforms. “In our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. Fill the silence with your music … To tell our story,” he continued.
After Zelenskyy’s surprise appearance, singer John Legend performed a tribute to the country with Ukrainian artists Siuzanna Iglidan, Lyuba Yakimchuk, and Mika Newton.
“I have a dream of them living, and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.” Zelenskyy concluded.