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Ukrainian war: Zelenskyy hails Eurovision victory and pledges to organize the contest in 2023


Eurovision winners ready to go home and fight

The leader of Ukraine’s Eurovision Song Contest winners Kalush Orchestra has said he is “ready to fight” in war with Russia once again upon his return to his country.

Oleh Psiuk spoke at a press conference in Turin after Ukraine’s victory was confirmed in the early hours of Sunday.

Currently, a Ukrainian government order prohibits men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, but the six members of the all-male group have been given special permission to go and represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture in the music competition.

One of the original members remained to continue the war effort, and the others will return to Ukraine in “exactly two days”, when their temporary authorization expires, Psiuk said.

Kalush Orchestra, the bookmakers’ favorite among the 25 artists competing in the grand final, received 439 fan votes – the most TV voting points ever received in a Eurovision contest, now in its 66th year.

As the winner of the contest, Ukraine will now host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

Psiuk said Ukraine would be “happy to host” next year’s event in the “new integrated and happy Ukraine”.

Psiuk thanked “all Ukrainians, the Ukrainian diaspora and everyone around the world” who voted for Ukraine in the contest, adding that “any victory is very significant for Ukraine these days.”

The Ukrainian song “Stefania” was written as a tribute to the singer’s mother, but since the war has evolved into a hymn to the beleaguered nation as the lyrics take on new meaning.

“I will always find my way back, even if all the roads are destroyed,” Psiuk wrote.

Russia was excluded this year after its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

(AP)



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