10 MAY 2023 (TORONTO, ON) – Imagine Dragons share the riveting real-life short film for their single “Crushed” (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope/Universal Music Canada) to support the Ukrainian relief effort spearheaded by UNITED24—the organization founded by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Directed by Ty Arnold, “Crushed” tells the true story of a 14-year-old boy named Sasha. Russian forces occupied his village for five months until Ukrainian freedom fighters finally liberated it. Nevertheless, the conflict left his home, school, and surrounding neighborhood in ruins. He only survived the shelling by taking refuge in an underground shelter. The visual details his unbelievable story of perseverance as he walks through the wreckage. It ends with a still shot of the boy with the words, “And like so many others, Sasha and his family hope to rebuild their home. They are still here.”
Ty Arnold and Imagine Dragons manager Mac Reynolds recently premiered the video during UNITED24’s summit in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 5th. It now makes its global debut to the world today. The GRAMMY®-winning, multi-Platinum band notably became UNITED24 ambassadors at the request of President Zelenskyy in 2022. The short film serves as a totem to the courage of Ukraine and a beacon sounded loudly for the rest of the world to lend a helping hand. “Crushed” remains a standout from the band’s Mercury — Acts 1 & 2 (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope), which is available now.
Said Dan Reynolds, “Sasha’s story is heartbreaking, and there are thousands more like him who desperately need help. Even today, his family is without electricity and other basic utilities. We hope people will consider donating to United24 and raising their voice for this cause.”
Said Ty Arnold, “I spent the last winter in Ukraine delivering supplies to people in immediate need; many of these people were still under direct artillery fire or recently liberated from occupation. I was in constant contact with the band about what I saw, and they quickly suggested making a music video that captured the emotion of ordinary Ukrainians suffering from war. I embraced the idea; Imagine Dragons are very engaged in helping Ukraine and I felt this was an opportunity for people to see how this war has affected lives. During my travels I met Sasha, a young boy who had survived months of shelling. He had recently returned to his home village, only to find it completely destroyed. This video captures, in a small way, what Sasha experienced and what thousands of other Ukrainians continue to experience every day.”
Imagine Dragons have maintained a long, heartfelt connection with their Ukrainian audience. In 2018, they visited Ukraine for the first time: tickets to the largest concert venue — the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv — sold out in the first few days. The group was supposed to return on June 3, 2022, but the event had to be canceled due to the Russian invasion. The artists immediately canceled their planned performance in the Russian Federation as well and banned the release of their discography there. Additionally, the American band supported Ukraine by performing at the Save Ukraine telethon, and during this year’s European tour, the group’s lead singer, Dan Reynolds, was rarely seen without the Ukrainian flag, dedicating songs to the country.