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President Zelenskyy appears at Grammys in video from Kyiv bunker

In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, late Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
AP
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, late Saturday, April 2, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Updated April 3, 2022 at 10:45 PM ET

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared on screen at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night in a pre-taped speech, as Russian forces continue pressing ahead with its invasion in his country.

The short video was reportedly filmed within the last 48 hours, and was presented just before John Legend's performance of "Free," which featured Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.

In the emotional message, Zelenskyy spoke about music and the toll of the ongoing war on Ukrainians.

He spoke about musicians, who he said have traded their tuxedos for body armor, and children who draw "swooping rockets" rather than "shooting stars."

Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, left, and John Legend perform "Free" in support of Ukraine at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Chris Pizzello / AP
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AP
Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, left, and John Legend perform "Free" in support of Ukraine at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Las Vegas.

More than 400 children have been injured and more than 150 children have died, he said. Parents wake up in bomb shelters happy to be alive, the president added.

"On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence," Zelenskyy said. "Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story."

Zelenskyy said he has a dream for the cities that are being destroyed by war — for Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol, among others.

"I have a dream of them living," he said. "And free. Free like you on the Grammy stage."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Rina Torchinsky