Bono and the Edge put on surprise show in Ukraine’s capital

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Bono and The Edge put on a surprise gig yesterday in a bomb shelter in Kyiv to show their support for the Ukrainian people.

The Dublin rockers performed with local soldiers following an invite from President Volodymr Zelensky.

Pictures of the performance in Khreschatyk metro station went viral after they emerged on social media.

Read more: Taoiseach wants apology from Russia over ‘sinister’ mock-up clip showing nuclear attack on Ireland

The images came after U2 posted the news on Twitter saying: “President Zelensky invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do. Bono and The Edge Stand with Ukraine.”

Bono showered praise on the country’s people they fight for their “freedom” during the performance.

The stars performed some of their classics including Sunday Bloody Sunday and With or Without You following air raid sirens which were heard through the night.

Bono said: “The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom. We pray that you will enjoy some of that peace soon.”

He also acknowledged Ireland’s own struggles and conflicts and the sometimes challenging relationship it had with the UK.

Bono and The Edge were joined by Ukrainian singer Taras Topolya from Antytila band who is now serving in the army.

In a tweet from the Good morning Ukraine account, it said “Kyiv Metro. Just the legendary Bono from the band U2 sings with Taras Topola. We are unbreakable. We are invincible. The whole world supports us. Glory Ukraine!”

Together in front of an audience, they sang Ben E King’s Stand By Me replacing me with Ukraine.

As he began Angel of Harlem, Bono told the crowd that of all the cities and towns around the world including Tokyo, Sydney, Chicago as well as “Athlone and Kinnegad” there was “nowhere in the whole world that we would rather be in today than in the great city of Kyiv”.

During the Balkans conflict in the 1990’s U2 played a prominent role in supporting the people of Sarajevo when their city was under siege.

Along with Pavarotti the band released the hit song Passengers –Miss Sarajevo to raise funds and awareness. A Bosnian activist who narrowly escaped a bomb attack that killed 71 people in Sarajevo more than 20 years ago, paid tribute to U2 yesterday saying the Ukrainians are “suffering just like we did”.

On May 25 1995, Alema Misilo Sadikovic, who was 18 years old at the time, was caught up in a grenade explosion during the Sarajevo siege, where 12,000 people and more than 1,000 children lost their lives.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, Alema, now 47, praised U2 for their hit song about Sarajevo, which showed original footage of a beauty pageant held in the city during the war – to show how life carried on during one of the worst wars in recent times.

She said: “I was moved to see U2 sing in Kyiv. They support my people too in Sarajevo. That song means so much to Bosnian people, even today.

“At the time, U2 came to see us, they held a concert, they wanted to help. We love U2 for this always”.

Alema was struck and seriously injured during bomb attack from a T84 tank that killed 71 people. She was hit in the hip, and leg and still has shrapnel in her body.

She said: “I am very proud to have survived that war.

“Like the Ukrainians, the Bosnians are strong people.”

The war in Bosnia began in 1992 after Muslims and Croats voted for independence in a referendum boycotted by the Serbs.

Sarajevo, which is surrounded by mountains, was under siege for three years, but those living there continued to go to work and go to school.

They even held a beauty pageant where the women in the competition carried a sign “Please don’t kill us” which was later made famous in U2’s video.

Read more: Eamon Ryan calls on pro-Putin rally organisers to ‘stand down’ as protests planned in Ireland

Read more: Mayor of Kyiv indicates support for twinning city with Dublin

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.