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Charity gala concert in Berlin raises €1 million for Ukrainian children affected by Russia’s war

Wladimir Klitschko, co-founder of #WeAreAllUkrainians, expressed gratitude for Germany’s aid.
“Rebuild Ukraine”, the charity opera event in Berlin. Source: UkrInform
Charity gala concert in Berlin raises €1 million for Ukrainian children affected by Russia’s war

The central concert hall of Berlin, the German capital, held a grand charity opera gala in support of Ukraine, raising €1 million to aid Ukrainian children, according to UkrInform. The event, featuring top-class opera stars, took place at the Berlin Konzerthaus.

The funds were allocated to the #WeAreAllUkrainians initiative, which helps children affected by Russia’s war. Ukrainian former professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko, the initiative’s co-founder, received the donations. It establishes community centers in war-torn cities to offer a semblance of normalcy to traumatized young people amid Moscow’s military aggression.

Klitschko expressed gratitude for all the support Germany provides to Ukraine, particularly for the air defense systems that help protect the skies over Ukraine.

“We feel better knowing that we have friends like Germany. We will feel even better when evil is punished, when Putin, who started this war, ends up behind bars,” Klitschko said.

The solidarity gala concert was initiated by Harald Christ and his Foundation for Democracy and Diversity.

“I can’t fight on the front in Ukraine, but I can make a contribution. Every contribution, every euro counts. I am convinced that we should not wait for the reconstruction of Ukraine; it should start now,” claimed Harald Christ.

His assistance to Ukraine is not coincidental: 30 years ago, he and his friends set up a fund to aid children who suffered from the Chornobyl catastrophe.

Since then, the German philanthropist has frequently visited Kyiv, and the Russian war compelled him to seek new ways to provide assistance. Christ decided that this gradually attracted less attention from the German community and saw the change in the situation through music.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner are patrons of the event, Deutsche Welle informs.

European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn, who delivered a speech, members of the Bundestag, Bundesrat President Manuela Schwesig, several ministers, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck, Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Oleksii Makeiev, and several of his colleagues from other countries.

The charity gala program included singers, such as Nicole Chirka from Kharkiv, who had to flee the war and joined the Dresden Semperoper ensemble, and fellow Ukrainian artists Olga Kulchynska and Andrii Kymach are also part of the international line-up of singers.

In addition to famous Verdi and Puccini arias, Ukrainian music was also a significant part of the concert, including an aria by Mykola Lysenko, the founder of the Ukrainian opera tradition.

The singers will be accompanied by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under the direction of conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson.

Wilson initiated the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra project, an ensemble founded as a cultural response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I have a cousin in Ukraine, he has been at the front since the first day of the invasion. He gave up his career as a journalist and artist in 2014 to serve in the army. I took inspiration from him and used my baton as a weapon,” said Wilson.

Earlier, the initiative “Berliners for Ukraine” organized the second charitable event, “Ber4UA,” and raised around 20,000 euros in support of Ukraine.

The funds will be directed towards supporting two Ukrainian organizations that play a crucial role in ensuring the resilience of the Ukrainian people during the war.

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