Eurovision wins, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra releases new war video

TURIN, Italy — Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, which just won the Eurovision Song Contest, released a new music video on Sunday featuring its winning single “Stefania,” which showcases war-torn Ukraine and its people. The annual song contest is in full swing with scenes of women in combat gear. More political overtones.

The video, released hours after the Karush Orchestra brought Ukraine its third Eurovision title, was voted in by some of the estimated 200 million viewers from the 40 participating countries. Leading the UK in the final.

The band members posed for pictures outside the Turin hotel on Sunday, on their way to an interview with Italian broadcaster RAI. They must return to Ukraine on Monday after being given special permission to leave the country to play.

Russia was banned from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after it invaded Ukraine on February 24, a move organizers said was aimed at keeping politics out of the competition to promote diversity and friendship between nations.

But politics still entered the fray, with Kalush frontman Ole Pushuk wrapping up his winning performance on Sunday night, pleading on stage: “I ask you all, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azostar now!” he said, referring to the besieged steel mill in the strategic port city.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the victory, saying he hoped Ukraine would host the tournament next year, predicting that “the victory chord in the fight against the enemy is not far away”.

“Stefania” was composed by frontman Psiuk as a tribute to his mother, but since the Russian invasion it has become the country’s national anthem, with the lyrics promising: “Even if all roads are destroyed, I will always find my way home. .”

The new music video tells of female soldiers picking up children from bombed-out buildings, welcoming them in shelters and leaving them behind as they board trains. Video producers say it was filmed in towns that have experienced the most damage from the war, including Butcha, Irpin, Boroyanka and Hostomel.

The video was apparently made before the band left Ukraine, as it features the band members and – presumably – actors performing in the ruins.

“To the brave Ukrainian people, to mothers who protect their children, to all who gave their lives for our freedom,” it said.

The Kalush Orchestra, which includes folklorists, mixes traditional folk melodies with contemporary hip-hop, powerfully defending Ukrainian culture, which has added meaning as Russia tries to falsely assert that Ukrainian culture is not unique.

Wearing his signature pink bucket hat, Psiuk said at a news conference early Sunday after the game that the victory was especially meaningful given the war and the popular support that propelled Ukraine to victory.

“We’re here to show that Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian music are alive and well, and they have their own very special marks,” Psuk said.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

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