With Saturday Night Live back for the first time in weeks, there’s a lot that’s been happening. Instead of choosing to skewer the current stressful world situation, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong chose to lead the show with an emotional choral tribute to the people of Ukraine as they face invasion from Russia. The beautiful performance of “A Prayer for Ukraine” felt fitting and thoughtful for the somber moment at hand.
“Prayer for Ukraine” performed by Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York pic.twitter.com/5pi2l1Olpx
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 27, 2022
Introducing the Ukranian Chorus Dumka of New York, Kate Mckinnon and Cecily Strong stepped offstage, leaving the chorus, all dressed in traditional garb, to perform their moving ballad. In front of the group of 18 singers, there was a display of candles and flowers in a blazing yellow, the Ukrainian national color. The thoughtful and soulful tribute stood out among SNL’s usual silly, satirical cold opens.
The whole world has been watching as the situation between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, after Russia launched its attack on Vladimir Putin‘s command on Thursday, Feb. 24. Celebrities from Ashton Kutcher to Milla Jovovich to Sean Penn have been expressing their condolences and care for the people of the country. In a joint acceptance speech at the NAACP Image Awards on the same evening, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle emphasized that the Ukrainian people “urgently need our continued support as a global community.”
As the situation intensifies, President Joe Biden recently shared a state-of-the-union address discussing how the U.S. will respond. So far, Biden has hit Putin with additional sanctions for what he called a “premeditated” attack, and even emphasized that Putin holds a “sinister vision of the world.” According to The Independent, Biden also recently approved another $600 million of military aid to Ukraine to try and support their struggling army.