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a message from ukraine

Zelensky gives speech at Grammys, declaring music can 'break through' even during war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional appeal during the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, asking viewers to "tell the truth" about the Russian invasion of Ukraine on social media, as being vocal and sharing stories is how "peace will come."

Zelensky appeared in a taped message amid the show's tribute to Ukraine, which featured a performance of "Free" by John Legend and words from poet and playwright Lyuba Yakimchuk. "The war," Zelensky said. "What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. 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."

The war, he continued, "doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence. Our musicians wear body armor 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."

Ukrainians are defending their freedom "to live," Zelensky said. "To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence." He urged viewers at home to "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 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."