British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has revealed she travelled to Ukraine as a guest of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska.
She described her trip to speak at the First Ladies Summit as “one of the greatest honours” and shared a video of her singing “a beautiful and powerful song in Ukrainian, ‘Chervona Kalyna’, a song of resistance” in Kyiv.
“I was determined to be there in person to pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian People,” wrote Ellie Goulding, 35, on Instagram.
She said she had been inspired to visit as a result of her work as an ambassador for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in particular having met an activist from Ukraine called Ilyess El Kortbi.
“In fact every day as a UNEP ambassador I am reminded of the immense contribution of Ukrainian climate scientists, renewable energy experts and environmentalists of all type,” she wrote.
“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. So I always knew that if I got the chance, I would try to show up too,” her Instagram post explained.
“On the night-train to Kyiv I looked out of the window and could make out the endless fields… a reminder that the 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.
“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,” wrote Ms Goulding.