Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest after a performance by the Kalush Orchestra | Ents & Arts News

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest in a huge show of support from the rest of the continent after Russia invaded the country.

Performing their folk-rap song Stefania, Kalush Orchestra stormed the leader board, beating strong competition from the UK and Italy.

The band were on the streets battling Russian attackers just weeks before taking the stage in Turin – instead of rehearsing for the biggest performance of their lives.

Britain’s Sam Ryder took second place – the first time the UK has made it into the top three at the Eurovision Song Contest in 20 years.

Picture:
Sam Ryder sang Space Man

The singer was in the lead after the national jury vote with 283 points, but there was a huge outpouring of support for Ukraine in the public vote.

The UK had been waiting a quarter of a century for a Eurovision win and the announcement of the winner was a headache as it was the final vote.

Ukrainian President Volodymry Zelenskyy hailed Ukraine’s victory, telling the world in his evening speech: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!

“I am sure that our victorious agreement in the battle with the enemy is not far away.

“Glory to Ukraine!”

Ukraine had been widely tipped to win the title and overnight there was a huge outpouring of support across Europe for the war-torn country. Almost all the participants displayed Ukrainian flags as well as their own on the night.

After their performance, they made an impassioned appeal to free those still trapped in the besieged Mariupol steelworks.

Russia was excluded this year in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Hundreds of millions of people across Europe watched one of the most watched TV events in the world, with a song about Meghan Markle and a track called Give That Wolf A Banana among the 25 finalists.

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