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Bono performs surprise concert in Kyiv bomb shelter: ‘You are fighting for all of us’

Surrounded by bombed and burned buildings, Bono and the Edge greet Ukrainians on Sunday in the town of Irpin, near Kyiv.
(Sergei Chuzavkov / AFP via Getty Images)
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U2 singer Bono performed Sunday at a Kyiv underground subway station being used as a bomb shelter in a show of support for Ukrainians enduring the Russian invasion.

Accompanied by guitarist the Edge, Bono sang the Ben E. King song “Stand by Me” at the Khreschatyk station. Another musician dressed in a Ukrainian military uniform — identified by various media outlets as Taras Topolia of the band Antytila — sang with Bono.

Bono tweeted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited him and the Edge “to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do.” Bono added the hashtag #StandWithUkraine.

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According to the Irish Times, the musician’s set included U2 hits such as “With or Without You,” “Desire” and “Angel of Harlem.” And for his cover of King’s “Stand by Me,” he substituted “Stand by Ukraine.”

“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 also went to Irpin, a town on the outskirts of Kyiv, and to neighboring Bucha, where hundreds of bodies were found after Russian troops withdrew last month. Possible war crimes are being investigated there.

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Bono is the latest rock star to show his support for Ukrainians since Russia launched its invasion earlier this year. In March, a viral video of community members in Odessa jamming to Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” while preparing for battle caught the attention of none other than the band itself.

And Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, whose grandfather was Ukrainian, has publicly approved of Ukrainians using the heavy metal group’s hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as a battle cry.

Among the other entertainment luminaries who have showed solidarity with Ukraine in recent months are Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Priyanka Chopra, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sean Penn.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

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