U2 rock icons Bono and The Edge play in Kyiv’s metro station bomb shelter

The Ukraine-Russia war has proven to be a strange occurrence in many ways with the one overriding theme being that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met his moment, not only to inspire his own people but to capture the world’s attention and heartstrings — and keep it.

In what looked to be an attempt to recreate a “Miss Sarajevo” moment, Bono and the Edge, one half of the superstar rock band U2, appeared in a Kyiv metro station serving as a bomb shelter to sing “Stand by Ukraine.”

On the band’s official website, followers were told the rock duo showed up at the invitation of President Zelenskyy.

“President @ZelenskyyUa invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do. — Bono and The Edge #StandWithUkraine,” the tweet read.

And just like that, the war was over.

Well, not exactly, but that was the sentiment in the eyes of many as Bono and The Edge did a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” changing the lyrics to “Stand by Ukraine.”

Here’s another angle of the performance, with the rock icons being joined by the Ukrainian band Antytila — one member of that band, Taras Topolia, is now fighting the Russians after joining the Ukrainian military:

U2 released the popular song “Miss Sarajevo” in 1995 in response to the civil war that broke out between then-Yugoslavia’s republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, after Bosnia declared its independence. The song is about how the people of Sarajevo dealt with war, with the proceeds going to the War Child charity.

“The people of Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you’re fighting for all of us,” Bono told those gathered in the makeshift bomb shelter.

In the clip below, Bono sings the group’s smash hit “With or Without You.”

When Zelenskyy addressed the Grammy Awards audience last month, he urged artists to “tell our story.”

“Fill the silence with your music!” the Ukrainian president said at the time. “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.

“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos,” he added. “They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”


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Tom Tillison


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