Ukrainian Eurovision winners will travel across Europe to raise funds for the army

KYIV, May 17 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Eurovision Song Contest winners are planning a tour of Europe to raise money for the military as it continues to put up fierce resistance to Russian forces more than 80 days after their invasion of the country, they said on Tuesday.

The Kalush Orchestra rode a wave of popular support to win the competition on Saturday, giving their compatriots a much-needed boost of morale. Read more

Singer Oleh Psiuk told a televised press conference in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv that the band will soon announce on Instagram where they will be touring.

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“At each performance, we will raise funds for the needs of the army,” he said.

Psiuk said he hoped Ukraine would host Eurovision next year and thanked the defenders of the beleaguered steel mills of Azovstal in the southern city of Mariupol for their courage in holding out for so long.

Fighters from Mariupol’s last stronghold have begun to surrender, but a Ukrainian presidential adviser says their defiance has changed the tide of the war. Read more

The bookmakers had made Kalush Orchestra the favorites of Eurovision. Their song “Stefania”, which fuses rap with traditional folk music, was in fourth place after the nationwide juries’ vote, but took first place thanks to a record score in the viewers’ vote.

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Reporting by Natalia Zinets, writing by Alexander Winning, editing by Ed Osmond

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Mary I. Bruner