Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Addresses U.N. on Russian Invasion of Ukraine: The Musician’s Stand on the Conflict

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters made a bold move by addressing the United Nations Security Council on February 8th via video conference. Invited by Russian diplomats, the legendary musician spoke out against the ongoing martial campaign in Ukraine and called for an “immediate ceasefire.” While introducing Waters as a “civil peace activist,” the Security Council president emphasized the musician’s voice for the voiceless millions.

Waters, who has been a critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since February 24th, 2022, stated that the invasion was “not unprovoked.” The musician shared that if the Security Council was a “toothless chamber,” he felt compelled to open his big mouth on behalf of the voiceless. He ended his statement with advice from his mother to “read, read, read” and find out everything one can about the subject.

The musician’s remarks were met with a mixed response from the council members. Japan’s Osuga Takeshi praised the efforts to end the war and recover the dignity of individuals. On the other hand, United States ambassador Richard Mills expressed skepticism about Waters’ position and questioned his qualifications to speak on arms control and European security issues.

Speaking on behalf of the United Kingdom, Barbara Woodward criticized the meeting and pointed out Russia’s increased armament as evidence of its insincerity in diplomatic conflict resolution. The Ukrainian ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, rebutted Waters and referred to Pink Floyd’s banishment from the Soviet Union in 1979 for their condemnation of the invasion of Afghanistan.

Waters’ skeptical stance towards Russia’s imposition in Ukraine has drawn criticism from colleagues and fans. Prior to his U.N. appearance, Polly Samson, the wife of Waters’ former Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour, called the musician an anti-Semitic, misogynistic Putin apologist. Waters has also expressed concern for his safety, stating that he believes he’s on a Ukrainian “kill list” and that reports of Russian forces perpetrating human rights abuses are false.

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