The president of Ukraine made a special appearance at the 2022 Grammy Awards.

During Sunday night’s ceremony, Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a pre-taped video message with a plea for international support amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

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The message also served as an introduction to John Legend’s performance of the song “Free” as part of a tribute to Ukraine.

“The war. What is more opposite of music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people,” Zelenskyy said in the video. “Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died, and we will 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.”

He continued, “Our musicians wear body armour 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. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today. Tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks and TV. But not silence.”

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Zelenskyy had been rumoured to appear during the Grammys ahead of the ceremony. He had previously been expected by some to make an appearance during the Oscars the week prior, though that did not come to fruition.

On Twitter, the Recording Academy also announced that they had joined forces with Global Citizen to raise funds to aid Ukrainians fleeing the violence.