Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:09 UK

McCartney plans huge Ukraine show

Sir Paul McCartney at the Brit Awards
Sir Paul got a lifetime achievement honour at this year's Brit Awards

Sir Paul McCartney is to perform to hundreds of thousands of fans at a free concert in the Ukrainian capital Kiev in June.

The Beatles legend will play in the city's main Independence Square at a show dubbed the Independence Concert.

He was invited by Ukrainian tycoon Viktor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of the former president Leonid Kuchma.

Sir Paul, who will perform on 14 June, said: "Pull together, groove, rock and roll - all together."

It would be "a great evening and we hope to see you there", he added.

Mr Pinchuk said Ukraine had been waiting for many years for Sir Paul to visit.

Sir Elton John in Kiev
Sir Elton John played to 200,00 people in Kiev last summer

"For the first time we have the opportunity to hear the songs that changed the world and created a new culture," he said. "The songs that we grew up with and became who we are."

A joint statement from Sir Paul and the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation said: "The ideology and spirit of The Beatles helped build the democratic aspirations for much of the Soviet society and eventually led to the peaceful collapse of the USSR and the independence of the former Soviet republics."

Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Last June, Sir Elton John performed to 200,000 people in Independence Square.

Sir Elton was in Kiev to promote HIV and Aids awareness, and has set up Aids projects in the country with Mr Pinchuk and his wife Elena Franchuk.

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