Kalush Orchestra, Eurovision winner, auction trophy to help the Ukrainian army

Ukraine victory in the Eurovision Song Contest brought national pride, joy and artistic prestige to the country amid the devastation of...

Ukraine victory in the Eurovision Song Contest brought national pride, joy and artistic prestige to the country amid the devastation of war. Now it will also help supply drones to the Ukrainian army.

Kalush Orchestrathe Ukrainian group which won Eurovision after winning the popular vote by telephone, put their trophy and the pink bucket hat worn by its lead singer in the auction contest, and the items fetched more than $1.2 million , the group’s spokeswoman said in a statement on Monday.

“We believe this is only the first victory before our biggest victory over the Russian aggressor,” Oleh Psiuk, the band’s vocalist, said in a Telegram message.

The money will go to the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation, an organization founded by a Ukrainian TV presenter, and will be used to buy three drones that the army can use for surveillance, said Maria Pysarenko, spokeswoman for the foundation.

The trophy, a handmade glass microphone designed by Swedish artist Kjell Engman, was auctioned off in cryptocurrency, said Ms. Pysarenko.

WhiteBIT, a cryptocurrency exchange from Ukraine, took home the trophy on Sunday for $900,000 following competing bids in the final minutes of a businessmen’s auction of Kalush – the Ukrainian town Mr. Psiuk is from – and a charity fund in Washington.

“It’s a big amount, but we understand the goal is much bigger,” said WhiteBIT spokesperson Margarita Populan, adding that her company had been working to provide and coordinate support to Ukraine since the start of the war.

The winner of the bucket hat “with the sweat and tears of Oleh”, as Mr Prytula described it, was chosen at random in a separate raffle, where each ticket cost 200 Ukrainian hryvnia, less than 7 dollars. Over 30,000 people participated, raising over $300,000.

Volodymyr Onyshchuk, a Ukrainian computer engineer living in the Czech Republic and a regular donor to Mr. Prytula’s charity, won the award. He said in a phone interview that he bought several tickets because he thought it was “a cool situation”, adding that he planned to take a “photo for Facebook” with the hat before taking it. donate to a museum in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, or in Kalush.

After winning Eurovision, Kalush Orchestra urged their fans to show their support by donating to help the Ukrainian military. “Every euro you donate will help save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers!” the band wrote in a Instagram post auction promotion.

Eurovision rules state that it is an “apolitical event”, but competition has never been truly isolated from global politics.

The Kalush Orchestra’s winning song, “Stefania,” was written in honor of Mr. Psiuk’s mother. Although it has no overtly political lyrics, it has been reinterpreted as a patriotic anthem to Ukraine as a homeland.

After the contest, the band released a music video for “Stefania” which shows destroyed buildings and female soldiers carrying children amid the rubble, in a clear reference to war. It has been viewed nearly 20 million times.

“If Stefania is now our war anthem,” Mr. Psiuk wrote in the caption of the video, “I would like her to become our victory anthem.”

Jean Ismay contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Kalush Orchestra, Eurovision winner, auction trophy to help the Ukrainian army
Kalush Orchestra, Eurovision winner, auction trophy to help the Ukrainian army
Newsrust - US Top News
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