Volodymyr Zelensky Gives Moving Speech At The Grammys
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Volodymyr Zelensky Gives Moving Speech At The Grammys

April 4, 2022 Share

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Only hours after calling Russia’s month-long invasion of Ukraine a genocide, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a pre-recorded speech at the 2022 Grammy Awards.

This year’s Grammy Awards ceremony featured a heartfelt tribute to Ukraine

Performances and speeches acknowledged the country’s current state of turmoil as a result of Russia’s actions, and a message urged people to keep donating and offering support.

President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a speech via video which was pre-recorded from a Kyiv bunker.  The message, which was part of Global Citizen’s “Stand Up For Ukraine” campaign, encouraged viewers to raise public awareness of the conflict on social media and television and was followed by a performance by John Legend and Ukrainian musicians and a poet.

“The war. What is more opposite of music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people,” Zelensky said. “Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died, and we will never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters, but alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.”

He continued, “Our musicians wear body armour 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. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today. Tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks and TV. But not silence.”

Tribute to Ukraine at The Grammys | Credit: Valerie Macon

After the speech, Legend performed his new song “Free,” accompanied by Ukrainian musician Siuzanna Iglidan, Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, and Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.  The song closed with a request that viewers visit Global Citizen’s Ukraine donation page.

Following an Oscar night that was unexpected, to say the least, it’s encouraging to see the Grammys shift gears and put their focus on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a major human rights issue that has gradually faded from the news cycle in recent weeks. Hopefully, Zelensky’s speech at the Grammys will bring attention back to the embattled nation.

In light of the humanitarian crisis currently ongoing in Ukraine, please check here for ways that you can help as a foreigner.

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