Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine poses after profitable the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, on May 15. (Yara Nardi/Reuters)

In a symbolic victory greater than three months after the Russian invasion, Ukraine took prime honors on this yr’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The annual songwriting and efficiency competitors is commonly seen as a possibility to have a good time a various vary of musical kinds, recognize its typically kitschy displays, and to really feel nationwide delight. The winner is voted on by panels {of professional} musicians and tv viewers throughout Europe, though the viewers can’t vote for their very own nation’s entrant.

The contributors are admonished to chorus from political themes, nevertheless, the favored sentiment of the day can swing votes and Ukraine had been acknowledged as a favourite on this yr’s contest.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the band on Instagram seconds after Ukraine’s victory was introduced.

“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!” he mentioned within the publish. Alluding to the rule {that a} winner of the earlier yr’s competitors will get to host the competition, he mentioned: “Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And I believe – not the last. We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt!”

Ukraine’s entrant was a gaggle referred to as the Kalush Orchestra, performing a folks/hip-hop model music referred to as “Stefania,” concerning the lead singer’s mom.

Kalush is the identify of the town the place singer Oleh Psyuk grew up, within the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains about 375 miles west of Kyiv.

The folk-rap group initially completed second in Ukraine’s nationwide choice competitors, however they had been elevated after it emerged the preliminary winner had beforehand traveled to Russian-annexed Crimea. They had been unveiled because the nation’s entry on February 22, two days earlier than Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

“As we speak, our country and our culture is under threat. But we want to show that we are alive, Ukrainian culture is alive, it is unique, diverse, and beautiful,” Oleg Psyuk, the band’s frontman, instructed CNN earlier.

Eurovision is among the many world’s most-watched occasions not together with sports activities, with lots of of thousands and thousands of viewers, and it usually launches or reignites the careers of songwriters, artists and featured songs due to such extensive publicity.

Traditionally, the profitable nation hosts the next yr’s occasion, attracting hundreds of spectators and leisure journalists, and drawing consideration to the nation’s tourism trade.

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