Bombarded at home, Ukraine finds symbolic victory on Eurovision stage

TURIN, Italy — While within the third month of combating Russia’s invasion at house, Ukraine got here out victorious at Europe’s musical competitors Eurovision.

Swept alongside on a wave of solidarity, the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra racked up a report well-liked vote after performing a catchy folk-rap tune and sending an emotional plea for the bombarded metropolis of Mariupol in jap Ukraine. Russia has been shelling the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol, a strategic port metropolis that has been besieged for greater than two months. Around 500 Ukrainian fighters have been trapped on the plant within the final pocket of resistance. 

“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned on Telegram.

Over two thousand kilometers away from the standing ovation in Turin, Zelenskyy pledged to host subsequent 12 months’s Eurovision Song Contest in a free, peaceable and rebuilt nation.

The European Broadcasting Union, organizer of the competition, was extra cautious and highlighted the “unique challenges” to host the competitors.

A tribute to guide singer Oleh Psiuk’s mom, the Ukrainian folk-rap music grew to become a rallying cry for Ukraine amid the Russian conflict. An monumental complete of 631 factors put Ukraine nicely away from the opposite contestants. The nation acquired the best variety of factors from the general public within the historical past of Eurovision with 439 factors.

The band had been given particular permission to depart Ukraine to carry out within the European musical contest. One band member stayed behind to battle on the frontlines. The group is anticipated to return in two days. 

The U.Okay. defied the percentages by coming second place after being final with zero factors within the earlier 12 months.

“We got more points today than we got in the last 10 years,” mentioned Mike, 54, from Nottingham, exulting in his Union Jack jacket. “No one believed this would happen after Brexit.”

Even although power sanctions on Russia have began hitting Europeans’ wallets, the continent threw its weight behind Ukraine.  

Waving her blue and yellow flag, Irina, 34, who fled Ukraine firstly of the conflict and now lives in Austria, mentioned the musical victory gave her hope.

“It’s good to have Europe on our side.”

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