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Ukraine’s Eurovision Winner Leaves Italy To Immediately Join The War Effort Back Home

Ukraine’s Eurovision Winner Leaves Italy To Immediately Join The War Effort Back Home

Oleg Psiuk is now heading back to Ukraine to join the army in their fight against the Russian invaders.

One of Ukraine's Eurovision winners has been spotted kissing his girlfriend goodbye before heading off to the frontline to fight against Vladimir Putin's Russian invaders.

Just hours after winning the international song contest for 2022, frontman of Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, Oleg Psiuk, was seen saying his heartfelt farewells as he began his journey back to his home country to enlist.

Psiuk's six-piece band won the contest, held in Turin, Italy, on Saturday (May 14) with its song 'Stefania'.

Their song was written as a tribute to the frontman's mother, but has since transformed into a war anthem since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The band came out on top, finishing with a massive 631 points to take home the win.

The UK finished second with 466 points and Spain finished up in third place with 459 points.

Kalush Orchestra were the favourite to win the coveted singing contest, with both Russia and Belarus banned from competing.  

But celebrations were cut short for the all-male group as they were ordered to return to their war-torn homeland by Monday (May 16) to take up arms against the Russians, according to The Sun.

Kalush Orchestra were given special permission to leave the country to attend the competition, as Ukrainian law currently prohibits any men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country in a push to join the army or join the war effort.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was quick to praise the victory - and even vowed to hold next year's competition in Mariupol, despite the city being besieged by Russian forces. 

Taking to Telegram, Zelenskyy expressed plans to rebuild the city by the time the next Eurovision song contest takes place.

He said: "Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision!

"We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt! I am sure our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off."

As well as performing and winning the show, the frontman of Kalush Orchestra, rapper Oleh Psiuk, made a moving speech addressing the conflict in his home country.

He referenced Mariupol, specifically calling out for Ukrainian fighters to be freed from Azovstal steel plant, where they have remained trapped.

"Help Azovstal, right now," Psiuk said.

As of 21 April, it was estimated that around 2,000 fighters remain inside the steelworks, as well as 1,000 civilians, with the city occupied by Russian forces.

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo. dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: Eurovision, Ukraine, News, Russia