March 22, 2021
Amelia Anisovych, 7, a refugee from Ukraine, sings the Ukrainian national anthem at a fundraising concert in Lodz, Poland, on March 20. (Marian Zubrzycki/AP)
A 7-year-old girl who sang “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen” inside a bomb shelter in Kyiv is now singing for a different kind of audience — thousands gathered in Poland to raise money to support Ukrainians like her who are fleeing the war.
The girl, Amelia Anisovych, now a refugee in Poland, sang the Ukrainian national anthem in an arena in Lodz on Sunday.
Wearing a white folk dress embroidered with red, white and blue flowers, Amelia took center stage and sang Ukraine’s anthem, “Ще не вмерла України,” meaning “Ukraine has not yet perished.”
Weeks earlier, in the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she sang in the same clear, high-pitched voice, “Не боюсь ничего уже” — Russian for “I’m not afraid of anything anymore” — as explosions could be heard overhead.
The video was viewed by millions of people, even reaching the cast of “Frozen.”
“We see you,” American actress and singer Idina Menzel, who was the voice of the character Elsa in the movie, tweeted on March 7. “We really, really see you.” She shared a clip of the girl and two heart emoji — one blue and one yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
According to ITV, the concert at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, “Together for Ukraine,” was organized to raise money for Polish Humanitarian Action, a nonprofit that has provided services to Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border in recent weeks.
More than 3.5 million Ukrainians have become refugees since Russia’s invasion of their country, according to new figures released Tuesday.
More than 2 million of them have fled to Poland — in some cases, overwhelming cities and institutions not designed to absorb them.
One of those refugees is Amelia, who told the BBC last week that she was in Poland with her grandmother. Her father stayed in Ukraine, where, under martial law, men of fighting age cannot leave the country. Her mother, Lilia, later joined them, telling Britain’s Press Association news agency that she was “proud” of her daughter’s performance in Lodz.
“Everyone was worried that she would be very worried, but she did great,” she said after the concert. “When Amelia went to the stage, you could hear her say into the microphone ‘nightmare, nightmare’ but she reconciled [those] feelings and sang.”
“Her happy grandmother Vera was watching in the hall,” she also told the PA news agency. “Is there a grandmother out there who would not be proud of her granddaughter in that moment?”
Jennifer Hassan contributed to this report.