Sting has shared a powerful performance of his 1985 track ‘Russians’ in support of the Ukraine – you can watch it below.
Originally released during the Cold War period, the song expressed a hope that both the US and Soviet Union would find some kind of common humanity before destroying the world through nuclear warfare.
Now, with the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the song has once again, sadly, found relevance, and Sting has posted a video of himself performing it in aid of Help Ukraine, an initiative that sends medicine and humanitarian aid to a warehouse on the Ukrainian border in Poland.
“I’ve only rarely sung this song in the many years since it was written, because I never thought it would be relevant again,” he says at the beginning of the performance. “But, in the light of one man’s bloody and woefully misguided decision to invade a peaceful, unthreatening neighbour, the song is, once again, a plea for our common humanity.
“For the brave Ukrainians fighting against this brutal tyranny and also the many Russians who are protesting this outrage despite the threat of arrest and imprisonment – We, all of us, love our children. Stop the war.”
The video’s caption includes more information on Help Ukraine, how you can help, and where you can send care packages to.
Sting’s performance comes after Ukraine severed diplomatic ties with Russia and declared martial law after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on the neighbouring nation last month (February 24).
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.
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, Franz Ferdinand‘s Alex Kapranos, Yungblud, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Taika Waititi and Amanda Palmer all speaking out in support of Ukraine.
Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks has penned an emotive post about the ongoing conflict saying “my heart is broken”, while Madonna voiced her support for Ukraine with a fanmade video set to a remix of her 2005 song ‘Sorry’.
Meanwhile, Russian rapper Oxxxymiron has cancelled a series of shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine, 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.