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Eurovision winner Kalush Orchestra frontman kisses girlfriend goodbye to join Ukraine frontline

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Eurovision winner Kalush Orchestra frontman kisses girlfriend goodbye to join Ukraine frontline

The frontman from Kalush Orchestra who won last night’s Eurovision song contest has kissed his girlfriend goodbye to join the frontline in Ukraine’s ongoing war against Russia.

Oleg Psiuk, the frontman of the folk rap group, was pictured embracing his girlfriend Oleksandra outside his hotel in Turin, Italy today as he left to defend Ukraine from President Vladimir Putin.

Wearing his signature pink hate and carrying a rucksack, Psiuk’s belongings were placed into a Taxi ready to head to the airport.

Last night, President Zelensky vowed to hold Eurovision in Mariupol next year after an outpouring of support from the European public propelled Ukraine to victory.

The war-torn nation ended on 631 points while the UK finished second with 466 points. Spain finished third with 459 with Sweden fourth on 438. 

Volodymyr Zelensky was quick to hail the victory – and even vowed to hold next year’s competition in Mariupol, despite the city being besieged by Russian forces. 

The frontman from Kalush Orchestra who won last night’s Eurovision song contest has kissed his girlfriend goodbye and joined the frontline in Ukraine’s war against Russia.

Oleg Psiuk, the frontman of the folk rap group, was pictured embracing his girlfriend Oleksandra outside his hotel in Turin, Italy today as he left to defend Ukraine from President Vladimir Putin

Oleg Psiuk, the frontman of the folk rap group, was pictured embracing his girlfriend Oleksandra outside his hotel in Turin, Italy today as he left to defend Ukraine from President Vladimir Putin 

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine stand on the stage after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin last night

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine stand on the stage after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin last night

Psiuk (right) talks with the group's manager as he leaves Universo Hotel after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Italy

Psiuk (right) talks with the group’s manager as he leaves Universo Hotel after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Italy

After their performance last night, the band's front man, Psiuk, took advantage of the enormous global audience to make impassioned plea to free fighters still trapped beneath a sprawling steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol

After their performance last night, the band’s front man, Psiuk, took advantage of the enormous global audience to make impassioned plea to free fighters still trapped beneath a sprawling steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol

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

‘For the third time in its history and, I believe, not the last. We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt.

‘I thank the Kalush Orchestra for this victory and everyone who gave us your votes. I am sure that the sound of victory in the battle with the enemy is not far off. Glory to Ukraine.’

The Eurovision results are a defiant message to Vladimir Putin as Ukraine’s success was followed by a stunning second place for the UK. 

Britain, a staunch ally of Zelensky’s Ukraine during the Russian invasion, almost pulled off a shock win after leading for most of the night, before being pipped at the end.

In contrast, Germany and France, whose leaders have come under criticism for not being tough enough on Russia’s aggression, were the two last placed nations in this year’s contest.  

Kalush Orchestra had earlier delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania for Ukraine. The band was the favourite to win amid Vladimir Putin's invasion of their country

Kalush Orchestra had earlier delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania for Ukraine. The band was the favourite to win amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country

Britain's Sam Ryder had looked on course for a shock victory before the public vote saw him knocked into second - the UK's best result for 20 years

Britain’s Sam Ryder had looked on course for a shock victory before the public vote saw him knocked into second – the UK’s best result for 20 years

The Eurovision results are a defiant message to Vladimir Putin as Ukraine’s success was followed by a stunning second place for the UK. 

Britain, a staunch ally of Zelensky’s Ukraine during the Russian invasion, almost pulled off a shock win after leading for most of the night, before being pipped at the end.

In contrast, Germany and France, whose leaders have come under criticism for not being tough enough on Russia’s aggression, were the two last placed nations in this year’s contest.  

Winners folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania, which has become a war anthem for Ukraine during the invasion. 

Receiving the coveted trophy, the band said: ‘Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukraini.’ 

Despite missing out on a stunning win, Britain’s Sam Ryder still achieved the UK’s best result for 20 years as he finished second.

Graham Norton, who presented the contest on BBC One, said: ‘This is a red letter moment. I am so happy for him, for the UK and for the BBC who have worked so hard to turn our fortunes.’

The 32-year-old Tik Tok star won over the audience, dazzling in a one piece suit encrusted with beads and pearls. 

After topping the national jury vote with 283 points, beating out favourites Spain and Sweden, Ryder said: ‘There is so much gratitude, what an experience.’

He found fame covering songs on TikTok during lockdown, amassing 12 million followers and catching the attention of global stars including Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys. 

Kalush Orchestra was the favourite to win amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country, with both Russia and Belarus banned from competing in the contest.  

After their earlier performance, front man Oleg Psiuk took advantage of the enormous global audience to make impassioned plea to free fighters still trapped beneath a sprawling steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol. ‘I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal, right now,’ he said. 

Zelenskyy earlier said: ‘Indeed, this is not a war, but nevertheless, for us today, any victory is very important. So, let’s cheer for ours. Glory be to Ukraine!’   

The members of Kalush Orchestra dressed in elaborate outfits, including long multi-coloured fringed ensembles, a pink bucket hat and traditional patterns as they took to the stage.

Their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, went down well with the audience of 7,000 in the Pala Olimpico, who cheered the group on with many waving Ukrainian flags.

At the end of the performance, which included break-dancing, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

The band’s song, ‘Stefania,’ was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mother, but has transformed since Russia’s invasion on February 24 into a war anthem.

The lyrics ‘I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed,’ written by frontman Oleh Psiuk, are said to have taken on a special meaning in light of the war. 

The six-member, all-male band received special permission to leave the country to represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture at the music contest. One of the original members stayed to fight and the others plan to return as soon as the contest is over.

At the end of the performance, which included break-dancing, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

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