On Sunday, U2’s official Twitter account shared that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had invited Bono and the Edge “to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.” The tweet ended with the hashtag #StandWithUkraine.
— U2 (@U2) May 8, 2022
Bono sang a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” substituting the chorus with “Stand by Ukraine,” alongside another musician dressed in a Ukrainian military uniform, who was identified by Rolling Stone as Taras Topolia from the Ukrainian band Antytila. He also performed classic U2 songs “With or Without You,” “Desire” and “Angel of Harlem” for the audience, which included soldiers.
“The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono told the audience, according to Rolling Stone. “We pray that you will enjoy some of that peace soon.”
Bono was also said to have visited the town of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, and the neighboring town of Bucha — which is currently under investigation for war crimes at the hands of Russian forces.
With NATO forces working closely together, various countries have provided resources and military aid to Ukraine but President Zelenskyy continues to urge his country to fight back, encouraging “peace talks” — although those efforts have been unsuccessful.
Bono is the latest musician to show his support for Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in January. U2 previously teamed up with Global Citizen to help those displaced by the war, alongside Madonna and Billie Eilish.
Watch their performance below.