, the Kalush Orchestra, the six-member band that won this year's Eurovision Song Contest, returned to Ukraine today to receive a warm welcome from the ecstatic crowd, shortly before putting on, as its members say, the clothes of war.
< p>After Saturday's triumph, the Kalush Orchestra crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border to be warmly welcomed by many of its fans in Lviv, which was hit by a series of explosions overnight.
A few hours later, band frontman Olech Psyuk and four other members gave a press conference in Lviv as the group's sixth member, Igor Didencuk, arrived in the capital, Kyiv.
“We will be touring Europe to raise funds for Ukraine and the Armed Forces. We will soon announce on our Instagram page the cities where we will appear “.
According to Tsiuk, the band members plan to spread the Ukrainian language in music and want to promote its culture On Monday, soldiers and women – praised in the winning song “Stefania” – welcomed the band members to the border with Poland.
Olech Psyuk was offered flowers in the colors of the Ukrainian flag (yellow and blue) before embracing his partner.
Then Kalush Orchestra presented an improvised rendition of the song “Stefania”, which won first place at this year's international competition in Turin, Italy.
The Ukrainian song received 439 points from the audience, giving the band first place among the 25 competing states.
With its triumph on Saturday, the Ukrainian band gave the Ukrainians a boost of morale after 12 weeks of war. “even if the roads have been destroyed,” the singer wrote as a tribute to his mother, in a song that later became the anthem in their winter home.
Ukrainian soldiers watching the Eurovision Song Contest on television hailed the victory and Psyuk's call for help in the besieged Mariupol and those trapped in the Azovstal steel plant.
In an interview with Italian , Psiuk, who turned 28 yesterday, Monday, spoke movingly of his mother.
“He stayed up until three in the morning celebrating. In our city, Kalous, the sirens are stopped four times a day, nothing to do with other places.
With special permission
The The 6-member Kalush Orchestra had received special permission to travel to the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, by road to Poland and then on a flight to Turin, although one member of the band stayed in Ukraine to fight.
According to Ukrainian law, all men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country and are required to join the army or support the war effort.
The singer said that when they returned home they would leave the costumes of the stage to put on the uniform of the Ukrainian resistance.
“Like any Ukrainian, we are ready to fight as long as it takes,” he added, calling for next year's Eurovision Song Contest to be hosted in the besieged city of Mariupol.
President Volodymyr Zelensky hurried to congratulate the Kalush Orchestra, while the inhabitants of the city of the same name were ecstatic.
“I love Kalous. My wife and I watched until 1 in the morning. We are happy that we won. I was jumping. “I was in seventh heaven,” said Peter Yogan, 74, on Sunday, adding, “But I also want to end this war as soon as possible. “This will be an even bigger victory.” community in Ukraine after the Russian invasion in February.