Amid the war in their homeland, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the 66th Eurovision Song Contest held in Turin, Italy. The audience showed their support for the band and the people of Ukraine by voting and bumping them to first place.
With this, Ukraine has become the first country to win the contest three times in the 21st century. It has also become the first Eastern European country ever to win the contest thrice. Ukraine made its debut in the contest in 2003.
Kalush Orchestra performed their folk-rap song Stefania. It was reported that the band members were out on the streets fighting Russian forces weeks before the performance of their lives. The band dedicated the song to all matriarchs in Ukraine and revealed it was originally written in honour of the group's mothers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on a Telegram post "our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe''. He vowed to one day host the Eurovision contest in the port city of Mariupol, Ukraine's most strategic port town currently besieged by Russia. He highlighted the words "Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt!" The president added: "I am sure our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off".
Lead singer Oleh Psiuk, after the performance, shouted from the stage "please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now". He later spoke to the media and said spreading information, talking about this, and reaching out to governments help, reported The Guardian.