Sting shared an urgent political message during a concert in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.
The singer closed her show to appeal to the crowd about the war in Ukraine and the growing threats to democracy.
Calling the country’s invasion at the hands of the Russian military “an absurdity based on a lie”, the statement was conveyed through Polish actor Maciej Stuhr, who was invited by Sting to act as translator on stage, as was reported by the Associated Press.
The artist warned that democracy is “in grave danger of being lost unless we defend it.”
“The alternative to democracy is prison, the prison of the mind. The alternative to democracy is violence, oppression, imprisonment and silence,” he said.
Poland’s status as a border nation of Ukraine is undoubtedly important as it has become a place of refuge for Ukrainians fleeing their homeland. More Ukrainians displaced by the conflict are starting to live in Poland than in any other nation.
Laurent Gillieron/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Sting warns of danger to democracy during Warsaw concert
The 70-year-old condemned the war, noting that he believes it is based on lies created by the Russian government and urged attendees not to “swallow” such distrust.
“The war in Ukraine is an absurdity based on lies,” he continued. “If we swallow that lie, the lie will eat us up.”
The star was met with thunderous applause during the event held at the National Stadium in Warsaw. An encouraging call to action was followed by the song “Fragile”, which claims an anti-violence narrative.
Since Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine in February, the United Nations estimates that more than 15,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict.
Sting’s 1985 song “Russian”, inspired by a Cold War-era nuclear plan, has recently taken on new meaning. During a July concert at the Château de Chambord in France, he dedicated the song to Ukraine.