Sting warns of threats to democracy during Warsaw concert
Sting shared an urgent political message during a concert in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.
The singer stopped his show to appeal to the crowd regarding the war in Ukraine and the growing threats to democracy.
Calling the country's invasion at the hands of Russian forces "an absurdity based upon a lie," the statement was expressed through Polish actor Maciej Stuhr, who Sting invited on stage to act as a translator, as reported by the Associated Press.
The performer warned that democracy is "in grave danger of being lost unless we defend it."
"The alternative to democracy is a prison, a prison of the mind. The alternative to democracy is violence, oppression, imprisonment and silence," he added.
The positioning of Poland as a border nation of Ukraine is no doubt significant as it has become a place of refuge for Ukrainians fleeing their homeland. More Ukrainians displaced from the conflict have begun to reside in Poland than any other nation.
The 70-year-old denounced the war, noting he believes it is based on a lie perpetuated by the Russian government and urged those in attendance not to "swallow" such mistruths.
"The war in the Ukraine is an absurdity based upon a lie," he continued. "If we swallow that lie, the lie will eat us."
The star was met with thunderous applause during the event, held at Warsaw's National Stadium. The rousing call to action was then followed by the song "Fragile," which boasts an anti-violence narrative.
Since Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February, the United Nations estimates that over 15,000 have lost their lives in the conflict.
Sting's 1985 song "Russians," which was inspired by the nuclear planic of the Cold War era, has taken on new meaning as of late. During a July concert at the Château de Chambord in France, he dedicated the song to Ukraine.