It's no secret that the people of Ukraine are suffering right now thanks to the Russian invasion. The tragedy of what's happening is difficult to watch, but even more difficult to live through.
Violinists Worldwide Join Ukrainian Playing Folk Song From Bomb Shelter
But that doesn't mean that all hope is lost.
On the contrary, actually. Despite being faced with an invading force, many Ukrainians face their situation with strength and, yes, hope.
There's hope in art, and there's hope in music.
It started with Illia Bondarenko, a Ukrainian violinist staying in a bomb shelter in Kyiv. Through a global collaboration that resulted in a YouTube video, he plays his music with people from around the world.
The video is haunting, upsetting, but most importantly, hopeful.
With Bondarenko in the center, the video starts with just him playing a Ukrainian folk tune, followed by other Ukrainian violinists, and then others from around Europe and the rest of the world.
Each player has a flag in the corner of their screen, showing which country they're from.
By the end of the video, 94 violinists from 29 countries can be both seen and heard playing the same piece.
Many of these violinists are renowned for their skills.
Upworthy writes, "They include world-class violinists from the London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, the Hollywood studios and renowned violinists who play various styles of violin from Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, Georgia, Poland, South Korea, South Africa, Moldova, Denmark, India, Germany, the U.S. and more."
It's such a beautiful collaboration.
Upworthy also reports that Bondarenko recorded his part between bombings in Kyiv, which speaks to the magnitude of what's happening in that city — and across Ukraine — right now.
But it also acts as an act of solidarity.
In truth, there aren't too many things we as individuals around the world can do to help Ukraine apart from showing them that they are valued.
Part of that comes in the form of charity.
The YouTube video also acts as a fundraiser for the UN Refugee Agency, which aims to use the money to give Ukrainian citizens humanitarian aid.
The world is watching, listening, and trying to help.
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has already doubled its $10,000 goal. It goes to show that the want for Ukraine to once more be free and safe from Russian invaders is as universal as music is.