Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, made an appearance during the 64th annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Zelensky made his appearance in a pre-recorded video that was played before John Legend performed his song “Free,” along with Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, musician Siuzanna Iglidan and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
During his speech, Zelensky asked musicians to use their voices to uplift and speak out for those who have suffered and been silenced by Russia’s invasion in the country.
If you missed out on the speech, you can see the full video below along with a full transcript.
Volodymyr Zelensky Grammy Speech
Here is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's pre-taped speech at the #Grammys, introducing a performance for Ukraine from John Legend: "Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals." https://t.co/rjX2S54hkr pic.twitter.com/43fcZTrjQK
— Variety (@Variety) April 4, 2022
“The war. What is more opposite to 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’ll 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. Our musicians wear body armors 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. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on TV. Support us, in any way you can. Any – but not silence. And then peace will come.
“To all our cities the war is destroying. Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others. They are legends already. But I have a dream of them living, and free – free like you on the Grammy stage.”