Politics

Ukraine's President Zelensky vows Eurovision will be held in besieged city of Mariupol 'one day'


Ukraine’s hero leader President Volodymyr Zelensky has hailed Kalush Orchestra’s morale-boosting win in the Eurovision Song Contest

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after his country’s triumph in Italy.

The victory gave the war-torn nation a vital morale boost and its hero leader has suggested the contest could be held one in the besieged city of Mariupol.

He posted on Facebook : “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 for the last time.”

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the contest with its song Stefania, which has become a popular anthem among Ukrainians during the war.

The band made an impassioned plea during the show to help the fighters still in the Azovstal steel plant in the port city, and Mr Zelensky said “one day” the contest will be held “in a Ukrainian Mariupol”.

British leaders hailed the win, which came at the UK’s expense with Britain coming second.







Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra were the ultimate winners of the 2022 contest
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

“It is a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace posted: “Slava Ukraini. Good night. Well done. All our thoughts are with you!”

Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted: “Congratulations Ukraine. The Eurovision voting public have shown their overwhelming support for Kalush Orchestra and solidarity with Ukraine.”

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK would support Ukraine to bring the much-loved contest there.

Saying it felt right that Ukraine emerged victorious, he said: “And the important thing I thought was when President Zelensky said that it should be hosted, as is customary, in the in the winning country, and that will be Ukraine and I look forward to seeing it when it’s held there.”

Asked if that could be Mariupol, Mr Kwarteng added the UK government would try to help: “President Zelensky was very clear that it will be hosted in Ukraine and he mentioned Mariupol and that’s what we we hope to see.

“And obviously the country might need support from others to make that dream become a reality.”

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