“Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today. To tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any – but not silence. “
That was Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, who gave an impassioned, pre-taped speech at the Grammy Awards on Sunday that asked the world to help his country as it remains under attack by Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
He shot the video within the previous 48 hours from a bunker in Kyiv, Variety reported. And his speech was used to introduce John Legend’s performance of “Free,” which featured the music icon performing with Ukrainian singer Mika Newton and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, who recently fled Ukraine.
“Support us in any way you can, but not with your silence,” said Zelensky, his voice raspy.
Watch the full clip below.
And here’s the full text of his speech.
“The war. 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. 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 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.”
“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 the 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.“