Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos has paid tribute to the “open and welcoming” people of Kyiv in a new Instagram post.
It comes after Ukraine severed diplomatic ties with Russia and declared martial law after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on the neighbouring nation yesterday (February 24).
Writing on Instagram, Kapranos paid tribute to Ukraine sharing a picture of the time he and his band visited Kyiv.
He wrote: “This is Kyiv when we visited less than three and a half years ago. I loved this city which had a sense of optimism in amongst the deep history. The people were welcoming, open and comfortable in their identity. In some ways it reminded me of Berlin 25 years ago: a flower of opportunity unfurling in the spring sunlight.
“To see missiles crashing onto its streets and the advance of tanks towards it fills me with incomprehensible horror and foreboding for what is to come and what will be destroyed. The people. All those people on the streets, in the cafes, just going about their lives. All because of the paranoia and ego of one criminally insane man.”
Kapranos had previously wrote a lengthy post on social media condemning the invasion.
“My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine and I unequivocally condemn the invasion by the Russian state,” he wrote.
“I was fortunate enough to spend time in the beautiful cities of Kyiv and Odessa when I played there with our band. The people I met were warm and my fond memories are now tinged with indescribable sadness as I see what is happening.”
He continued: “Ukraine posed no threat to Russia. Do not think that Putin intends to stop at its borders. It’s the borders of the USSR at the very least which he is after. I feel for the people of Russia too, particularly the people I have met over the years who I know are appalled by this action and know what the horrific consequences of this action are for them. For all of us.
“Ultimately this will be the end for Putin. At what horrific cost though?”
Since Kapranos’ post yesterday, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that 137 people had been killed, with 316 more wounded overnight.
Troops from Russia crossed the Crimea border into Ukraine on Thursday, after President Vladimir Putin gave the order for his invasion to begin.
The actions of Putin, who has claimed that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine and that his country’s actions amount to a “special military operation”, have drawn widespread condemnation from across the globe.
US President Joe Biden has pledged “severe” sanctions on Russia, saying in a statement that Ukraine is “suffering an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces” and that “Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the outbreak of conflict in the country was a “catastrophe for our continent”.
In the House of Commons, Johnson added: “Putin will stand condemned in the eyes of the world and of history. He will never be able to cleanse the blood of Ukraine from his hands.
“Although the UK and our allies tried every avenue for diplomacy until the final hour, I am driven to conclude that Putin was always determined to attack his neighbour, no matter what we did.
“Now we see him for what he is – a bloodstained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest.”
Reactions to the situation in Ukraine from prominent figures in the worlds of music, entertainment and politics have been posted on social media, with the likes of Foals’ Yannis Philippakis, Bring Me The Horizon‘s Oli Sykes, Miley Cyrus, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Taika Waititi and Amanda Palmer all speaking out in support of Ukraine.
The country, which has a population of 44million people, borders both Russia and the European Union. As the BBC reports, Russia has long resisted Ukraine’s move towards embracing European institutions like NATO and the EU.
Putin is now demanding guarantees from the West and Ukraine that it will not join NATO, a defensive alliance of 30 countries, and that Ukraine demilitarise and become a neutral state.
You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those affected by the conflict.