Global Citizen Teams Up with U2, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and More World Leaders on Social Media Rally for Ukraine

The "Stand Up for Ukraine" digital rally will kick off on April 8, culminating in a global pledging summit with world leaders on April 9

Bono of U2 and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Photo: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage; Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty

Global Citizen is teaming up with celebrities and politicians alike to help those displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the organization announced an upcoming social media rally in support of their "Stand Up for Ukraine" fundraising campaign on Saturday. "I'm grateful to U2 and Bono for this campaign initiative," Zelenskyy, 44, said in the video.

The digital rally will kick off on April 8 with testimonials from grassroots advocates on the ground, calls for humanitarian aid and celebrity appearances, all culminating in a global pledging summit with world leaders on April 9.

"On 9 April, the biggest online event 'Social Media Rally' will support people who were forced to flee Ukraine. I'm inviting everybody: musicians, actors, athletes, businessmen, politicians, everybody. Everyone who wants to join this movement and 'Stand Up for Ukraine,' " Zelenskyy said in a statement.

Global Citizen's CEO, Hugh Evans, said in his own statement, in part, "History has shown us that conflict and poverty are closely interconnected, resulting in the weakening of the rule of law, a collapse in economic development and often catastrophic humanitarian situations. There is no doubt that the conflict in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian crisis — members of Global Citizen saw this ourselves at the Ukrainian-Polish border. ... We're calling for an immediate end to this crisis, and the provision of immediate financing to support refugee relief efforts not just in Ukraine but around the world."

Among the full line-up of performers, stars and more are Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Chris Rock, Demi Lovato, Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Gloria Steinem, Green Day, Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Luke Combs, Madonna and many more.

The event will be co-hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Global Citizen will share more details on the "Stand Up for Ukraine" social media rally in the coming days.

"Today, our message to the Ukrainian people is this: we are standing with you," said Trudeau, 50, in a statement. "Whether you need food, water, shelter, or medical aid — we are rallying the world to continue to have your backs and provide critical assistance where it is needed most. When we all work together, we can achieve the best outcomes for those displaced by Putin's illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine."

"Millions of people are fleeing the bombs falling on Ukrainian cities. They are leaving their homes and their lives behind, to reach safety in other parts of Ukraine or in neighbouring countries," von der Leyen, 63, said in a statement. "A Ukrainian child has become a refugee every second since the start of the war. The world must stand up for them."

"The European Union is catering for the needs of the millions of refugees it hosts. And we will further step up. But so much is needed — and the brave people of Ukraine deserve solidarity from citizens and governments around the globe. Together, we can give them a safe home and bring some light in their lives at this dark hour," she added.

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.

Bucha, Ukraine
Police officers and residents stand next to a crater in front of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 12. DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty

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. Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

RELATED VIDEO: As Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Continues, Citizens Around the World Still Manage to Uplift Each Other

Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and that he is acting in the best security interests of his country. 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. "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

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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