Russian, Ukrainian musicians hold concert in Hiroshima for peace in Ukraine

Classical musicians from Russia and Ukraine have performed at a charity concert in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima to pray for peace and support Ukrainians.

Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin and Ukrainian violinist Aleksey Semenenko played in the event on Sunday before the first anniversary of the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Gugnin took to social media right after the start of the invasion to express his opposition to the Russian move. He now lives in Croatia.

Semenenko teaches music at a German university. He is also engaged in efforts to help Ukraine.

The concert was realized based on the wishes of the two artists to hold the concert in Hiroshima and send a message from the atomic-bombed city. They are concerned that Russia may use nuclear weapons.

Organizers say proceeds from the event will be used to supply heaters and other goods to people in Ukraine.

Gugnin said the concert sought to show unity against Russian attacks on Ukraine and its people. He said he hopes Russia will face a major turning point after Ukraine regains occupied territories.

Semenenko said he has special feelings about the concert in Hiroshima as he visited the city's Peace Memorial Museum in November. He said he hopes that his family in Ukraine will stay safe and that the war will end as soon as possible.