The lead singer of Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra says the folk rap group will celebrate winning the Eurovision Song Contest “after the war”.
The act had been the competition’s favorite since the invasion, prompting organizers to ban the competition from Russia.
Following their victory in Turin, Italy, after a powerful rendition of the song Stefania, Kalush Orchestra said the victory was “for every Ukrainian”.
At a press conference, leader Oleg Psyuk said, “We haven’t really celebrated yet.
“We’ll probably have a big party after the war because winning is great, winning Eurovision is fantastic, but there’s so much going on.
“People get killed in war or they fight in war or lose their jobs in Ukraine, it’s not really the best backdrop for the celebrations.”
Addressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s social media post which said that next year Ukraine will host Eurovision, Psyuk added: “If the president said it was going to happen, then it will happen.
“We will host Eurovision in a newly rebuilt and happy Ukraine.
“He congratulated us and he is happy that we won.”
Psyuk said Ukraine’s Eurovision win had “boosted” the war-torn nation’s morale and he kept hope for the country’s future.
During the performance, which mixed rap and Ukrainian folklore, the band members wore elaborate outfits, including long ensembles with multicolored fringe.
The rapper said: “I looked calm but my heart wouldn’t stop beating.
“I mean, of course I was nervous, 200 million people were watching, all of Ukraine was watching, a huge responsibility.
“You have no right to ruin everything!”
Despite the triumph, Psyuk said he was returning home to Ukraine where he leads a volunteer organization.
He added: “It’s chaos.
“It’s like a crazy lottery with all these missiles.
“I’m going back to Ukraine, running the volunteering organization, we help people with accommodation, transportation, medicine, whatever they need, so I’m going to keep doing that.”
The Ukrainian group was not at the top of the Eurovision ranking after the jury vote, but they triumphed in the public vote, obtaining 439 points out of a possible 468.
Following the victory, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the song contest, released a statement saying “certain irregular voting patterns” had been spotted in relation to six countries.
The statement read: “In order to comply with the contest’s voting instructions, the EBU has worked with its voting partner to calculate an alternative aggregated result for each country concerned for both the second semi-final and the grand final. .”