Ed Sheeran releases music video filmed in Ukraine days before Russian invasion

Singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran has released his latest music video, which was filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine, days before Russia invaded the country.

He released the video for his track 2step, which features rapper Lil Baby, Friday on his YouTube channel.

The video starts with a message from Sheeran. 

"It was my first time visiting the country and I felt so welcomed during my stay there," he posted. "Ukraine is a proud and resilient country, and I’m grateful to have had the chance to film my video there."

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Sheeran said he stands with Ukraine and will donate his record royalties from the YouTube stream of the music video to the DEC’s [The Disasters Emergency Committee] Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. 

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pressing the West for more powerful weapons as he prepared to meet with top U.S. officials in the war-torn country’s capital Sunday, while Russian forces concentrated their attacks on the east, including trying to dislodge the last Ukrainian troops in the battered port of Mariupol.

Zelenskyy announced the planned visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a news conference Saturday night in a Kyiv subway station. The White House has not commented.

Zelenskyy said he was looking for the Americans to produce results, both in arms and security guarantees. "You can’t come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons,″ he said.

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The visit would be the first by senior U.S. officials since Russia invaded Ukraine 60 days ago. Blinken stepped briefly onto Ukrainian soil in March to meet with the country’s foreign minister during a visit to Poland. Zelenskyy’s last face-to-face meeting with a U.S. leader was Feb. 19 in Munich with Vice President Kamala Harris.

While the West has funneled military equipment to Ukraine, Zelenskyy has stressed repeatedly that the country needs more heavy weapons, including long-range air defense systems, as well as warplanes.

More than 100,000 people — down from a prewar population of about 430,000 — are believed to remain in Mariupol with scant food, water or heat. Ukrainian authorities estimate that over 20,000 civilians have been killed. Recent satellite images showed what appeared to be mass graves dug in towns to the west and east of Mariupol.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.