Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, who stormed to victory having delivered a rousing folk-rap rendition of their song ‘Stefania’, made an impassioned plea during their winners’ speech calling on Europe to provide further aid and evacuate the soldiers still trapped in the southern port city’s Azovstal steel works.
‘I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal, right now,’ said the band’s frontman Oleh Psiuk.
But this morning, pictures posted on Telegram by pro-Kremlin and pro-war channel FighterBomber showed Russian shells emblazoned with messages mocking the band’s call for help, hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to hold Eurovision in Mariupol next year.
‘Just as you asked for, Kalusha! For Azovstal,’ the messages read.
‘#Eurovision2022. I heard the call to f*** up Azov. Help Mariupol. Help Mariupol right now.’
Petr Andryushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, shared the images of the Russian bombs on his own Telegram channel, where he condemned Putin’s forces for having ‘lost their humanity’.
The OFAB 250-270 bombs on which the taunts were written are high explosive fragmentation devices designed to destroy military-industrial facilities, armoured vehicles and large groups of soldiers by spraying a torrent of armour piercing shrapnel over a large area.
‘They are just inhuman… they have lost anything remotely similar to humanism and humanity,’ the adviser declared.
‘This is the reaction of the Russian military to our victory at Eurovision 2022… In Russia, a century of repentance will follow the losses.’
Russia continued its brutal bombardment of Azovstal in the early hours of the morning, dropping what appeared to be devastating incendiary explosives on the already heavily damaged plant where Ukrainian soldiers have been making a final stand against Putin’s onslaught.
Chilling images have emerged of cruel taunts scrawled on the side of Russian bombs destined for Mariupol in the wake of Ukraine’s success at the Eurovision song contest last night. ‘Just as you asked for, Kalusha! For Azovstal,’ the message reads – a mocking retort to Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra’s plea for further aid in Ukraine and for the evacuation of Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol
‘#Eurovision2022. I heard the call to f*** up Azov,’ is written on the side of a Russian OFAB 250-270 high explosive fragmentation bomb destined to be dropped on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol
Petr Andryushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, shared the images of the Russian bombs on his own Telegram channel, where he condemned Putin’s forces for having ‘lost their humanity’. ‘They are just inhuman… they have lost anything remotely similar to humanism and humanity… This is the reaction of the Russian military to our victory at Eurovision 2022… In Russia, a century of repentance will follow the losses,’ he said.
Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine stand on the stage after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy
Members of the band ‘Kalush Orchestra’ pose onstage with the winner’s trophy and Ukraine’s flags after winning on behalf of Ukraine the Eurovision Song contest 2022 on May 14, 2022 at the Pala Alpitour venue in Turin
Pictured: Russian Incendiary munitions fall over the vast Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, in a terrifying video posted to social media on Sunday showing the scale of the damage that has been done to the vast coastal complex
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra scored a resounding victory in last night’s Eurovision song contest, finishing on 631 points while the UK came in a surprising second with 466 points. Spain finished third with 459 with Sweden fourth on 438.
Britain surprisingly topped the jury vote and led for most of the night before Ukraine were awarded a mammoth 439 points in the public vote.
Zelensky was quick to hail the win and even vowed to hold next year’s competition in Mariupol, despite much of the city having been reduced to rubble amid Russia’s invasion.
‘Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe. Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision,’ he said.
‘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.’
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.
Russia was excluded this year after its invasion of Ukraine, a move organizers said was meant to keep politics out of the contest that promotes diversity and friendship among nations.
Kalush Orchestra delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania, which has become a war anthem for Ukraine during the invasion.
Receiving the coveted Eurovision 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, 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.
Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest with folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra’s ‘Stefania’, with Sam Ryder second for the UK with Space Man
Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine stand on the stage after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin
The folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra celebrated wildly after winning Eurovision for Ukraine in Turin last night
After their earlier performance, the band’s front man, Oleh 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
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
Sam Ryder’s second place was the first time that the UK has placed in the top three at the Eurovision Song Contest in 20 years. The singer (centre top) was leading after the national jury vote with 283 points, but there was a huge surge of support for Ukraine in the public vote
Kalush Orchestra’s ‘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 Oleh Psiuk, are said to have taken on a special meaning in light of the conflict.
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.
Graham Norton, who once again anchored the contest broadcast in Britain on BBC One, said: ‘We weren’t sure they were going to make it but they have made it.
‘Their commentator did not make it, he is commentating from a bomb shelter.’
Back in Ukraine, in the battered northeastern city of Kharkiv, Kalush Orchestra’s participation in the contest is seen as giving the nation another platform to garner international support.
‘The whole country is rising, everyone in the world supports us. This is extremely nice,’ said Julia Vashenko, a 29-year-old teacher.
‘I believe that wherever there is Ukraine now and there is an opportunity to talk about the war, we need to talk,’ said Alexandra Konovalova, a 23-year-old make-up artist in Kharkiv.
‘Any competitions are important now, because of them more people learn about what is happening now.’
Members of the band ‘Kalush Orchestra’ perform on behalf of Ukraine during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022
The stage is lit in the colours of the Ukraine flag as Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin
Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine singing Stefania performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin
Members of the band ‘Kalush Orchestra’, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and Vlad Kurochka, who perform on behalf of Ukraine
Britain’s Sam Ryder (pictured) came in an impressive second place, giving the UK its highest finish in two decades
The 32-year-old TikTok star performed his uplifting pop song Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang
Sam Ryder of United Kingdom performs live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin
Ukraine accused Russian forces of dropping phosphorus bombs on Mariupol‘s Azovstal steel plant on Sunday morning, as the families of the fighters trapped in the sprawling complex said they fear their fight is coming to an end.
An aerial video posted to social media on Sunday showed the attack on the plant, where Ukrainian soldiers have been making a final stand against the Russian onslaught on the port city that has been utterly demolished.
After weeks of Russian siege and bombardment, Mariupol – found in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region – is in Russian hands, but hundreds of Ukrainian fighters are holding out under heavy fire at the steel works.
A number of civilians who were sheltering in the plant were evacuated this month with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN.
Large civilian convoys have continued to evacuate the city this weekend, despite the continuous Russian bombardment of Azovstal.
‘Sparks’ – which are actually a grouping of incendiary munitions – fall to the ground and ignite. From a distance, the explosions look almost like fire crackers, but in reality are a series of countless detonations.
More of the bursts are seen above the factory, where Ukrainian soldiers are making a final stand against Russia’s onslaught of Mariupol. Hundreds of flaming munitions fall the ground
Pictured: A view of Russia army shelling to storm the territory of the besieged Azovstal plant in Southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on May 14, 2022
A view of a large convoy of vehicles carrying evacuees, which was allowed to leave the port city of Mariupol besieged by Russian forces in Ukraine on May 15, 2022
Large civilian convoys have continued to evacuate the city this weekend, despite the continuous Russian bombardment of Azovstal
As the camera pans out, more bursts of munitions are seen erupting over the plant, raining flaming explosives down from above.
The attack is unrelenting, with hundreds of the sparks landing on the roofs and grounds of the steel works and setting them alight.
Ukrainians claimed the video showed Vladimir Putin’s forces dropping 9M22S incendiary and phosphorus bombs on Azovstal, that an official said burn at temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Celsius.
‘The Russian military themselves claim that 9M22S incendiary shells with thermite layers were used,’ said the Ukrainians.
‘The combustion temperature is about 2,000 to 2,500 degrees Celsius. It is almost impossible to stop the burning,’ Andryushchenko said on Sunday.
The video was released as the wives and mothers of Ukrainian defenders still inside the steel plant told Sky News that they feared the fighting was coming to an end.
Natalya Zarytska, who married her husband Bohdan in an online ceremony in April, told the broadcaster that he is ‘in real hell’.
‘He has lost more than 20 kilos in weight. He looks very bad and is in a terrible condition,’ she said, adding: ‘I think that this is the end.’