As Russian soldiers marched on Kyiv, an orchestra sang the national anthem in front of a modest gathering in a Kyiv square where successive public protests have thwarted Moscow’s aspirations in Ukraine.
The Kyiv-Classic Symphony Orchestra also performed an extract from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” which serves as the inspiration for the European Union’s anthem – a gesture to the Ukrainian government’s aim to draw closer to Europe and away from Russia’s orbit.
Hundreds of people gathered in central Maidan Square to watch, some waving Ukrainian flags. When the national hymn was done, they applauded, and a woman said, “To Ukraine!”
“Ukraine has not yet gone…. our adversaries will fade like dew in the sun,” the anthem’s lyrics read.
The concert, according to conductor Herman Makarenko, was an appeal for peace.
‘We want to show our support for our president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has called, and will continue to call, on all governments around the world to put an end to the war in Ukraine.’