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On Sunday, two members of Irish rock band U2 gave a concert at a kyiv metro station, performing some of their classics and sharing the stage with Ukrainian musicians.
Bono and the edge wrote on Twitter that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had invited them to perform in kyiv “as a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.
And they did, playing a roughly 40-minute acoustic set in front of a crowd of around 100 gathered in the relative safety of the Khreshchatyk metro station bomb shelter.
They performed hits like “With or Without You,” “Desire,” “Angel of Harlem” and “Vertigo” to delighted audiences that included soldiers in military fatigues.
Bono addressed the audience between songs, praising the Ukrainian resistance and expressing his hopes for peace. At some point, the irish time notes, he invoked the struggles of his own home country.
“Ukrainians are not only fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” he said. “We pray that you will enjoy this peace soon.”
They also performed alongside Ukrainian singer Taras Topolia and members of his band, Antytila. They are among the many civilians, including artists, who took up arms to defend their country, and were dressed in military uniforms.
Both bands sang a rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”, changing the lyrics to “Stand by Ukraine”.
“This station covered a lot of people from the bombs, and now in this station U2 covers the whole world with their love,” Topolia said.
Antytila later wrote on Instagram that the performance was impromptu and without rehearsal.
They said they traveled from Kharkiv to Kyiv at Bono’s personal invitation, and called it “a very important moment for us and for the whole country”.
They also thanked the musicians of U2 and the Irish people for their support for Ukraine and called on the leaders of European countries and the European Union to help with diplomatic efforts and the evacuation of Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged city. from Mariupol.
Zelenskyy thanked global superstars in his nightly video address, according to Reuters.
“I am grateful to [Bono, U2] for supporting our people and bringing even more attention to the need to help our people,” he said.
Bono and Edge were then photographed visiting Bucha and Irpin, two towns near kyiv where Russian troops are accused of committing war crimes. Irish weather said they waved to people as they toured the damage in a residential area of Irpin and visited the site of a mass grave near a church in Bucha.
This story originally appeared on the morning edition live blog.