Moment The Killers nearly spark gig RIOT before jeering crowds walk out in fury after inviting shock guest on stage | The Sun

ROCK band The Killers issued a grovelling apology after inviting a Russian on stage and telling furious fans he was their “brother”.

Singer Brandon Flowers was booed and sparked a mass walkout at the gig in Georgia – which has had 20 per cent of its land occupied by neighbouring Russia since 2008.

Jeers rang out as Flowers pleaded with the angry crowd to be “brothers and sisters” after inviting a man to play drums with them during the song For Reasons Unknown.

He told fans at the stadium in Batumi, Georgia, on Tuesday night: “We don’t know the etiquette of this land but this guy’s a Russian – you OK with a Russian coming up here?”

After the song, Flowers attempted to calm booing as groups of fans began walking out.

He told concertgoers. “You can’t recognise if someone’s your brother? He’s not your brother?

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“We all separate on the borders of our countries?…Am I not your brother, being from America?”

The floundering frontman continued to urge the crowd to celebrate “that we’re here together” adding: “I don’t want it to turn ugly…I see you as my brothers and my sisters.”

Large groups left the Black Sea Arena in protest but the band played on to complete their set.

The band, famed for noughties anthems Mr Brightside and All These Things That I Have Done, issued a statement today to apologise.

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It read: “Good people of Georgia, it was never our intention to offend anyone!

“We have a longstanding tradition of inviting people to play drums and it seemed from the stage that the initial response from the crowd indicated that they were okay with tonight’s audience participation member.

"We recognise that a comment, meant to suggest that all of the Killers' audience and fans are 'brothers and sisters', could be misconstrued.

“We stand with you and hope to return soon.”

Georgia – which split from the old Soviet Union in 1991 – is fiercely pro-Ukrainian and has taken in thousands of refugees since the start of Vladimir Putin’s bloody “special operation”.

Russians have faced a backlash in the former satellite state, including cruise ship trippers being harassed by angry locals.

The Grammy-nominated Killers – formed in the early 2000s in Las Vegas – are on a world tour showcasing hits from their string of million-selling albums.

Flowers, 42, performed as a guest of his close pal Sir Elton John when the Rocket Man star sang Tiny Dancer at Glastonbury in June.

Fan fury

His comments in Batumi sparked on online backlash from Putin-hating fans living in the shadow of Russian aggression.

Dmytro Obukhivskyi tweeted: “How can I listen to my favourite band that cooperates with Russian Nazi supporters from now?

“You should openly state that you are against Russian terror – not invite people that support killing/rape of civilian people and kids.”

Another added: “Are you with the one that kills, rapes and steals from your family?”

Another said: “The Killers performed in Georgia last night and attempted to teach the crowd that 'Georgians and Russians are brothers and sisters'.

“It went down about as well as you’d imagine.

“The concept of Russian fraternity is a key propaganda narrative used extensively to justify imperial genocide.

“You really need to start listening to Georgians and others instead before attempting commentary.”

Others turned on Georgia's government as fury snowballed for allowing the band into the country – and claimed blood-soaked tyrant Putin was a Killers fan.

Levan Lomsadze said: "Anybody surprised that our pro-Russian government invites a band that Putin likes and the said band's frontman gets a Russian on stage? Just shows where our country is."

Mariam Kobakhidze said: "If not for the Ukraine war, they wouldn't even have apologised. They did because they know it can hurt their reputation. Not buying it, sorry".

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Donna Beridze added: "Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the 2008 Russian invasion into Georgia. One that continues to this day.

"How wonderful then to hear such soothing words, that we apparently are brothers and sisters. I dare them to say the same in Kyiv."

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