It has endured a tough few months to resist a Russian invasion, but Ukraine did have a clear victory on another front over the weekend as its entry was in the finals of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy win.
The wildly popular competition has entries from every European country, and analysts say the Ukrainian entry, “Stefania” by the Kalush Orchestra, benefited from a continental wave in Saturday night’s telephone polls. Sympathy and support.
The Ukrainian entry reportedly overcame strong early performances from entries from the UK, Spain and Sweden. This is the third Eurovision winner for the Ukrainian contestant since the country took part in the competition nearly two decades ago.
Politics clearly played a big role in this year’s competition. Russia was banned from sending representatives by the European Broadcasting Union, which organised the competition, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the victory on social media, saying: “I believe that our victory in the battle against the enemy is not far off,” Britain The Guardian said in its report.
Oleh Psiuk, frontman of the six-piece Karosh Orchestra, issued a plea for help from the stage after performing the song in Turin, with a particular reference to the troubled city of Mariupol, which has been the focus of Russia’s brutal siege in recent weeks.
Mr Zelensky expressed hope that Mariupol would be able to host the 67th Eurovision contest if the occupying Russian forces could be driven from the lands they now hold in eastern and southern Ukraine.