Our friend John Ondrasik and Five for Fighting have sung this anthem for almost four months as a rallying call on behalf of Ukraine. “Can One Man Save the World” has completed its journey in this newly released video of John’s performance of it with the Ukrainian Orchestra in Kyiv — specifically at an airfield wrested back from Russian occupation. Just behind the musicians sits the wreckage of the Antonov An-225 Mriya, which had been the world’s largest airplane and the pride of Ukraine until Russia destroyed it.
Months later, more months than the world expected, Ukraine continues to fight back, and John’s song about the bravery of Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people rings out from the ruins of what had been. And, if the world remains firm, what hopefully will be once again:
It was an honor of a lifetime to perform my new Ukraine tribute song “Can One Man Save the World”, with the Ukrainian Orchestra in the ruins of the Antonov Airport in front of the Ukrainian’s beloved Mriya, the world’s largest cargo plane, that Putin cynically destroyed at the outset of the war.
In sharing this musical collaboration on such hallowed ground, I saw firsthand the fortitude and grace of the Ukrainian people, who whether they are playing a violin or driving a tank, will not be deterred by Putin’s atrocities and aggressions.
I am grateful to my partners in this mission, “Save Our Allies”, one of the several NGO’s I began working with after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, who’s relationship with President Zelensky and the Ukrainian military made this effort a reality. SOA, formed by Afghan vets and the wife of a catastrophically wounded veteran, rescued over 12,000 during a ten-day period at HKIA. Their heroic work in Afghanistan is now being replicated in Ukraine coordinating humanitarian relief. All proceeds from this video and song will go to Save Our Allies to assist them in continuing their humanitarian work in Ukraine. Please donate at https://saveourallies.org if you are so inclined.
I call on my colleagues in the arts to join me in holding a ‘Live Aid’ type concert for Ukraine at the end of summer to benefit Ukrainian relief and refugees. The Russian people need to understand they are pariahs not only economically and politically, but culturally. Music can be a powerful salvo in permeating borders for those deluged by propaganda.
Can one man, one person, save the world? Not alone they can’t. Though this song recognizes President Zelensky and all Ukrainians, it is equally about each one of us. I believe we all, as free individuals, and free nations, must do our part in ensuring that freedom and liberty is defended when one of our fellow democracies is being decimated. As the last words of our video state: History Starts Now.
Will the world hold firm? Karen had a post up early this morning about a bipartisan effort in the Senate to tighten the screws on Russian sanctions. The point of that will be to force Russia to run out of funds for its imperialism in eastern Europe, which so far hasn’t been slaked yet by earlier sanctions. Vladimir Putin is still attempting to expand his zone of control in eastern Ukraine despite reports of an “operational pause,” according to ABC News:
Russian forces are managing to “raise true hell” in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland despite reports claiming they were taking an operational pause, a regional governor said Saturday, while another Ukrainian official urged people in Russian-occupied southern areas to evacuate quickly “by all possible means” ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Deadly Russian shelling was reported in Ukraine’s east and south.
The governor of the eastern region of Luhansk, Serhyi Haidai, said Russia launched over 20 artillery, mortar and rocket strikes in the province overnight and its forces were pressing toward the border with the Donetsk region. …
Last week, Russia captured the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, the city of Lysychansk. Analysts predicted Moscow’s troops likely would take some time to rearm and regroup.
But “so far, there has been no operational pause announced by the enemy. He is still attacking and shelling our lands with the same intensity as before,” Haidai said. In a later post, he claimed Russian bombardment of Luhansk was suspended because Ukrainian forces had destroyed ammunition depots and barracks used by the Russians.
The introduction of high-precision artillery systems from the US and other Western allies may tilt the playing field in the next few weeks. If these sanctions bite hard, Putin may run out of ammunition for his artillery systems, leaving his infantry and armor even more exposed. Earlier projections put the Russian exhaustion point at somewhere in September or October, so it may be a matter of another three months of resistance to Putin’s imperialism for Ukraine’s survival. If that doesn’t work, though, the “hell” could go on for years.
That will mean a lot of Ukrainians will continue to die in defense of their country, or just because of indiscriminate Russian attacks on civilian targets. John’s partners Save Our Allies are working hard to raise funds for humanitarian assistance while John raises awareness of the stakes in Ukraine. Maybe one man and one woman can save the world best by banding together to stand with Ukraine and Ukrainians. Help if you can by following the link.