Sting Releases New Rendition of 'Russians' for Ukraine Relief: 'No Such Thing as a Winnable War'

"Russians" was originally released in 1985, during the Cold War

Sting. Photo: Stefan Hoederath/Getty

Sting is lending his voice to the people of Ukraine.

On Friday, the former The Police frontman released a re-recorded version of his 1985 track "Russians" in an effort to support Ukrainians amid the Russian invasion.

The musician, 70, announced the news in an Instagram post alongside a poster that reads, "There's no such thing as a winnable war," in all capital letters.

According to the post, net profits will benefit Help Ukraine, a "volunteer storage center established by Ukrainian business owners where humanitarian and medical aid can be sent from all over the world — with funds being processed through the German charity foundation, Ernst Prost, People for Peace — Peace for People."

The song was originally released in 1985, nearly 40 years after the start of the Cold War. At the time, Sting released it to strike a humanizing tone by considering the consequences of war on children. The new 2022 version notably makes use of guitars and cellos.

Earlier this month, the "Redlight" singer posted a video on Instagram where he addressed the war in Ukraine and performed the stripped down version of "Russians."

"I've only rarely sung this song in the many years since it was written, because I never thought it would be relevant again. But, in the light of one man's bloody and woefully misguided decision to invade a peaceful, unthreatening neighbor, the song is, once again, a plea for our common humanity," he said.

Sting continued, "For the brave Ukrainians fighting against this brutal tyranny and also the many Russians who are protesting this outrage despite the threat of arrest and imprisonment — we, all of us, love our children. Stop the war."

Sting's effort comes as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Details of the devastation change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia. With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and that he is acting in the best security interests of his country. However, Zelenskyy has vowed not to bend.

"Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, "life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

Both renditions of Sting's "Russians" are available now.

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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