Ukraine Eurovision joins Kalush Orchestra setting aside competition to join the war effort

Ukrainian folk rap group Kalush Orchestra cast aside their thoughts on this year’s Eurovision competition amid Russia’s invasion of Kyiv

The Ukrainians participating in the European Song Contest, Kalush Orchestra, joined the war effort against the Russian invaders.

Members of the folk rap group, including founder Oleh Psiuk and other members Ihor Didenchuk, and MC Kilimmen, are pictured holding guns as they prepare to defend their country.

Singer Psiuk says that the song he wrote for ESC, called Stefania, is being played around the country.

“This song that we made, it’s the national anthem of Ukraine and people are singing it,” he said.

“Initially, the song was dedicated to my mother, and now it is a song for all mothers.”

Ukraine Eurovision joins Kalush Orchestra setting aside competition to join the war effort


Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS)

Russia has been banned from this year’s competition in Turin, held in mid-May, with the European Broadcasting Union arguing that allowing the country to participate would “make the competition worse”.

It remains to be seen whether Kalush Orchestra will be in a position to participate.

Speaking from his hometown of Kalush, in the west of the country, Psiuk called on the West for a stronger international response to Russia.

He said: “I think that the invading country should be banned everywhere, from all possible areas of economy and politics because people from their own country do not realize that their country is aggressive and aggressor for the whole world, not just for Ukraine. “

He told Sky News he will do as he pleases. “My daily life has changed. Now I’m working with a team of volunteers. We’re helping people who have traveled far from Ukraine, finding food for those who need it.”

Kalush Orchestra, on the war front

He added: “My girlfriend is making Molotov cocktails today, and this is her first time doing something like that. It was very scary for all of us. “

ESC was held in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 2017, after singer Jamala won the previous year in Stockholm, Sweden.

She won with the 1944 song, with lyrics about the expulsion of more than 200,000 Tatars in Crimea by former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

At the time, entire ethnic groups were accused of being Nazi sympathizers, but the deportation, in which up to half of the travelers died, has since been seen as a “conspiracy”. genocide”.

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