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Bono and The Edge performed in a subway station in Kyiv, Ukraine

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WITH OR WITHOUT YOU")

U2: (Singing) With or without you. With or without you.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

That's Bono and The Edge from U2 performing Sunday in Kyiv. The Irish musicians played in support of Ukraine on an invitation for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Here's Bono speaking through an interpreter.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BONO: We were not expecting this invitation from President Zelenskyy...

UNIDENTIFIED INTERPRETER: (Non-English language spoken).

BONO: ...To come to this extraordinary place. But we are here to serve. And, he calls, we come.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

U2 played an acoustic set to a small crowd gathered in a metro station, one of the safer places in the capital.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BONO: The people of Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom. You are fighting for all of us who love freedom.

INSKEEP: And they invited a Ukrainian musician onstage with them. Here's Taras Topolia, lead singer of the rock band Antytila.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TARAS TOPOLIA: Of course, it's a huge opportunity for us to sing with the legends. And of course, it's a huge opportunity for us to tell the world the truth about our war.

MARTINEZ: Topolia is one of many Ukrainian civilians, including artists, who have picked up arms to defend their country. Back in March, he told Al Jazeera why.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TOPOLIA: Months ago, I just want to play the music, to make people happy and to give the light, you know, from - light from the heart. Now I need to defend all of my friends, all of my colleagues.

INSKEEP: Now, at the concert, he noted that their subway station had served as a shelter from Russian attacks. And then in that station, he joined the members of U2 for a rendition of "Stand By Me."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TOPOLIA: This stationed covered a lot of people from the bombs. And now, in this station, U2 covering all of the world with their love.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.