Grammys 2022: Watch Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a moving pre-recorded message on Russia’s war against her country at the Grammy Awards on Sunday. In his speech, he encouraged listeners to tell Ukraine’s story, through music, on TV and on social media and compared the wartime duties of Ukrainian musicians to the very different situation of assistant musicians. at the Grammys.

“War,” Zelenskyy said hoarsely in the post, which was just over a minute long. “What could be more opposed to music? The silence of ruined cities and slain people. Our children draw dive rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children were injured and 153 children are dead, and we will never see them drawing.

“Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in air-raid shelters. But alive. Our loved ones do not know if we will be together again. The war does not let us choose who will survive and who will remain in eternal silence. Our the musicians wear bulletproof vests instead of tuxedos, they sing for the wounded in the hospitals, even for those who can’t hear them, but the music will break through anyway.

“We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To ring.

“In our land, we are fighting against Russia which brings a horrible silence with its bombs. The silence of death. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your networks socials, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any way — but not silence. And then peace will come.

“War destroys all our cities. Chernihiv. Kharkiv. Volnovakha. Mariupol and others. They are already legends, but I dream that they are alive and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.

According to Variety, the post was shot in the last 48 hours and was filmed in a bunker in Kyiv.

After Zelenskyy’s speech, John Legend performed the song “Free”, featuring Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, as photos from the war in Ukraine played on large screens.

The Recording Academy, which organizes the Grammys, then tweeted that the group had “partnered with (the international education and advocacy organization Global Citizen) for #StandUpForUkraine”, and encouraged followers to donate.

There was talk of Zelenskyy speaking at the March 27 Oscars, and actor Sean Penn said he would destroy his two Oscar statuettes if the Ukrainian president didn’t appear. He didn’t, and Penn’s rep later told CNET that Penn didn’t watch the Oscarsbut did not comment on the destruction of the statuette.

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