Dan Walker apologises after Ukrainian singer swears in message to Putin
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker apologised to viewers after Ukrainian singer Maria Burmaka swore live on the programme as she offered a message of defiance to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The musician has been putting a speaker up to the window of her apartment and singing the Ukrainian national anthem in the heart of Kyiv amid the Russian offensive.
She told the show: “The Ukrainian anthem is very important for all Ukrainians and I’m a musician and I decided to take my amplifier and open the window and sing to the districts.“My building is on one of the hills and all districts hear this anthem.”
Burmaka said that from her window she could see Russian forces bombing the Holocaust memorial in the city and she has been taking shelter in the parking garage underneath her building, which she described as “cold and scary”.
She added: “I cry and don’t want anybody to see that I cry because I have to be strong, but this is fascism.
“I ask all overlords to help us and support us, you have to know what horror is here.”
Asked if she was tempted to flee Ukraine, she said: “I am staying here now, I want to stay here, many people go out of Ukraine but…I will not run from my native city, this is my home and I want to be here in the heart of Kyiv and sing for my people and maybe I will sing my national anthem again from this window.”
She continued: “I want to say to Putin, you’re a murderer, you’re an aggressor, Ukraine was never against Russia.
She added: “Like our soldiers say: ‘F*** you.’
Walker swiftly interrupted her to say: “I really understand the depth of feeling but I have to apologise to our viewers for the language there.”
He added: “Apologies for the language there but I’m sure watching this morning you understand how strong Maria’s feelings are and so many people in Ukraine trying to defend themselves and protect their families and look after their country.”
He later tweeted: “What a treat to talk to Maria Burmaka on #BBCBreakfast live from Kyiv this morning.
“I had to apologise for the language at the end but that doesn’t mean you can’t empathise and understand the depth of feeling and I think 99% of people get that. Thank you for all the messages.”