Turin, Italy, May 15 (EFE).- Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest overnight in the Italian city of Turin, and highlighted Ukrainian culture amid the war with Russia.
Kalush Orchestra won the contest with its track “Stefania,” a song to the motherland, at a time when Ukraine grapples with the war unleashed by the Russian invasion since Feb.24.
Sam Ryder of the United Kingdom came in second for the song “Space Man,” followed by Chanel of Spain for “SloMo.”
The Ukrainian band’s frontman Oleh Psiuk, in his address, claimed this victory was very significant especially in the current scenario where “Ukrainian culture is under attack” but they have shown that “Ukrainian culture and music are still alive.”
Psiuk thanked all Ukrainians, the diaspora and all citizens who gave their support to his song, a rap with folkloric touches reaching out to Ukrainian mothers.
After their performance at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, the band’s lead vocalist asked for “help” for his country, as well as for the city of Mariupol and the Azovstal steel mill, where the resistance is holed up.
“Please help Ukraine, please help Mariupol, please help Azovstal,” Psiuk said.
This is Ukraine’s third victory in the Eurovision Song Competition, and gives it the right to host the next edition of the contest.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, celebrating this victory, spoke of his determination to host the Eurovision event next year in Mariupol despite being ravaged by the war.
“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year, Ukraine will host Eurovision,” the president said on a social media post.
“For the third time in its history. And as I believe: Not the last. We will do our utmost to one day host the participants and visitors of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful and rebuilt!” he added.