Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine took an emotional victory at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
The winning song Stefania sang in Ukrainian and mixed rap with traditional folk music and was a tribute to the mother of the band’s frontman Oleh Psiuk.
In the run-up to the competition, the Kalush Orchestra said it was aiming to lift the spirits of its medukrainers who have fled the country or fought against armed forces sent into the country on February 24 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
France’s contribution from Alvan & Ahez, sung in the regional Breton language, failed to impress the judges.
Spaceman, the UK’s contribution, came second – the country’s best show in 20 years.
But Ukraine got the public vote from all over Europe and Australia with 439 points.
With these numbers combined, Ukraine took its third triumph after the successes of 2004 and 2016.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the group’s achievement.
“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe,” he wrote on Telegram.
“We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Mariupol, Ukraine. Free, peaceful, rebuilt,” he added.