On Monday, the band was met on the border with Poland by service staff, and frontman Oleg Psyuk was presented with a bouquet of yellow and blue flowers – the colors of the Ukrainian flag – and met with his girlfriend.
The band launched an impromptu version of the winning song “Stefania”, in honor of which Ukraine named the train route in honor of the victory at “Eurovision”.
Their victory raised the morale of Ukrainian forces, who have been fighting for almost three months with an unprovoked Russian invasion of their country.
When the band finished performing on Saturday, Psyuk asked the whole world to “help Mariupol, help Azovstal now.”
“Eurovision is a very important thing, especially this year. But the lives of so many people are much more important,” Psyuk said at the border.
Psyuk said he hopes to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for military efforts by selling the trophy.
“There are people who are just willing to donate. It’s just to motivate them even more. Maybe they own this trophy. One might think it’s cool to have a statuette of the winner of Eurovision-2022 at home,” he said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky hurried to congratulate on Saturday, and residents of the town, which is named after the group – about three hours by car southeast of the village of Krakovets, where they returned to Ukraine – were delighted.
“I love my Kalush. My wife and I watched until the first hour of the night and were happy to win. I jumped. I was in seventh heaven, ”74-year-old Kalush resident Pyotr Yuhan said on Sunday.
“But I also want us to end the war as soon as possible, and that would be an even bigger victory.”
The Kaluga Orchestra was the clear favorite during Saturday’s final, thanks in part to broad solidarity with Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February.
The act garnered a staggering 439 public votes, which, combined with jury votes from competing countries, catapulted them to an unbeatable lead in the competition.
“Stephanie” was conceived as a tribute to the memory of Psyuk’s mother in Ukrainian, but his texts acquired additional significance after the Russian invasion.
In a moment of joy Timur Miroshnichenko, Ukraine’s response Graham Nortonwas seen reacting from the bomb shelter when the country won the competition.
Sam Ryder from the UK took second place for his work “Space Man”, the best performance of the British song contest since the late 1990s.