U2’s Bono and The Edge perform a surprise gig for Ukrainian troops in Kyiv

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Bono and U2’s The Edge performed a surprise 40-minute acoustic set at a metro station in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday in a show of support for troops in their fight against Russian military aggression.

“Ukrainians are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” Bono told the crowd of about 100 at the Khreshchatyk metro station that had been turned into a bomb shelter. “We pray that you will enjoy this peace soon.”

Bono tweeted earlier Sunday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had invited them to perform in Kyiv “as a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.

“Tonight, May 8th, shows will ring across the Ukrainian skies, but you will finally be free,” Bono told the crowd in between songs. “They can take your life, but they can never take your pride.”

The duo played some of the classic U2 hits like ‘With or With You’ and ‘Desire’. At one point, Bono invited a Ukrainian soldier to join them in singing Ben E. King’s standard “Stand by Me”, with the “Me” changed to “Ukraine”.

“It’s a beautiful day in the Kyiv Metro,” tweeted US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. “The people of Ukraine have shown remarkable resolve and resilience in the face of this brutal invasion. WE stand with #UnitedWithUkraine and support their pursuit of more peaceful, democratic and beautiful days.”

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Bono (R) (Paul David Hewson), activist and leader of Irish rock band U2 and guitarist David Howell Evans aka ‘The Edge’ (L) visits the site of a mass grave near St. Andrew’s Church Pervozvannoho All Saints at the Ukrainian town of Bucha, near kyiv, on May 8, 2022.
(GENIA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Later Sunday, Bono visited the grounds of St. Andrew’s Church in Bucha where mass graves were discovered in March after Russian troops withdrew from the area, The New York Times reported.

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Ukrainians have put up fierce resistance since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russian forces withdrew from the capital towards the end of May to concentrate in the east of the country.

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