British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding visited Ukraine as a guest of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska to speak at the First Ladies Summit, held on July 23 and hosted by Ukraine’s First Lady. In an Instagram post, Goulding shared more about her “emotional journey” to Ukraine.
“This weekend I travelled as a guest of President Zelenskyy and the first lady, Olena Zelenska to Kyiv to speak at the First Ladies Summit,” said Goulding. At the summit, the singer also performed the Ukrainian song of resistance “Chervona Kalyna.”
“It has been one of the greatest honors,” said Goulding of her visit to Ukraine. “I was determined to be there in person to pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian People. I was inspired by a number of people, but particularly a young [Fridays For Future] climate activist [Ilyess El Kortb] who I met at the Nature and Climate talks in Stockholm a few weeks ago. Traumatized by the invasion of his country he nevertheless showed up at the UN talks determined to carry on his work.”
She added, “In fact, every day as a [UN Environment Programme] ambassador, I am reminded of the immense contribution of Ukrainian climate scientists, renewable energy experts and environmentalists of all type. They are living through an horrific war bankrolled by fossil fuels. They somehow find the grit to keep going, working and campaigning for all of humanity.”
The singer went on to say that if she had the chance she wanted to show up and took an evening train into the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
“I looked out of the window and could make out the endless fields, a reminder that Ukraine is the breadbasket of the world, this bastion of culture, of science and humanity is also a cradle of resistance and courage and commitment,” said Goulding, who released her fourth album Brightest Blue in 2020. “I can’t tell you what an emotional journey this has been. There’s too much to put into words right now but I stand in solidarity, awe and respect with the people of Ukraine.”
Now six months since Russia invaded Ukraine, Russian forces have been attacking the Odesa region, and targeted residential buildings in coastal communities on July 26 as well as bombardment in southern Ukraine in the city of Mykolaiv. A residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was also struck on the morning of July 26.
Photo: Tina Eves