- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2022

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest winner didn’t have long to celebrate his victory because he had to get back to the war.

Oleh Psiuk, 27, is the frontman of Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, a three-piece hip-hop group named after his hometown. The group won the contest in Turin, Italy, with the song “Stefania” written in honor of Mr. Psiuk’s mother but adopted as an anthem for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country.

Hours after the contest on Saturday, the lead singer was spotted kissing his girlfriend outside his hotel before jumping into a taxi to begin his journey back to Ukraine.

The all-male group was given special permission to leave the country to take part in the completion and now have been ordered to return to their war-torn nation. Under Ukrainian law, all men ages 18 to 60 are barred from leaving the country and “urged” to join the army or support the war effort, according to The Sun newspaper.

Mr. Psiuk established a volunteer organization to help Ukrainians in need find transportation and shelter, while others in the group have taken up arms in the nation’s defense, according to The Sun.

By tradition, the winning country of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the next year’s competition. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to stage it in still-besieged Mariupol, now mostly under Russian control.

SEE ALSO: Tuneful revenge: Embattled Ukraine takes Eurovision song contest

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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