TURIN, Italy — The Ukrainian rap and folk band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, as European viewers and juries delivered a symbolic, pop culture endorsement of solidarity behind Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion.
After 80 days of fighting that has forced millions from their homes, brought ruin to cities and towns across Ukraine’s east and killed tens of thousands, the band won an emotional victory for Ukraine with a performance of “Stefania,” a rousing, anthemic song. Written to honor the mother of the group’s frontman, Oleh Psiuk, the song has been reinterpreted during the war as a tribute to Ukraine as a motherland.
The song includes lyrics that roughly translate to, “You can’t take my willpower from me, as I got it from her,” and “I’ll always find my way home, even if the roads are destroyed.”
After Psiuk performed the song on Saturday night, he put his hand to his heart and shouted, “I ask for all of you, please…