Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the crowd in Glastonbury and called on those present to “spread the truth” about Russia.
Appearing via the video link, Zelensky was ahead of The Libertines performing to unlock the other stage.
“This year, the festival resumes after a two-year hiatus, the pandemic has stopped the lives of millions of people around the world, but it is not broken,” Zelensky told the thousands in attendance.
Read more: Glastonbury 2022: Full lineup and dates fixed from Paul McCartney to Billie Eilish
He added: “We in Ukraine also like to live life like we used to have freedom and this wonderful summer, but we can’t do that because the worst that happened – Russia stole our peace. That’s why I’m going to you to support Glastonbury for the greatest focus of freedom these days and I ask you to share that feeling.” With everyone whose freedom is under attack.”
Zelensky also called on those who listen to “spread the truth about Russia’s war, help the Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes because of the war.”
The former actor and comedian concluded: “Time is priceless and every day is measured by human life. The more people join us in defending freedom and truth, the sooner Russia’s war against Ukraine will end. It proves that freedom always wins!”
Read more: Glastonbury TV guide: The complete BBC schedule and how to watch the festival live
His speech was met with cheers and applause from viewers. He is not the first political figure to give a major speech at the festival after former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke on the Pyramid Stage in 2017.
The winners of the Ukrainian Eurovision Kalush Orchestra will also participate in the festival. They are scheduled to perform later today at The Truth Theatre.
Glastonbury Festival kicks off today with coverage across the BBC including major performances from Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar.
Also slated to perform at the festival are Sam Fender, Lord, Diana Ross, Chaim, Sugababes, Noel Gallagher, High Flying Birds, Idlers and Casey Musgraves.
Watch below: Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Glastonbury.