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Eurovision finalist Kalush Orchestra pleads for Mariupol


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TURIN — The Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra launched a plea on Saturday for the city of Mariupol and its Azovstal factory after their appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now,” vocalist Oleh Psiuk shouted from the front of the stage in the Italian city of Turin after the band performed their song “Stefania.”

Russian forces are constantly bombarding steel mills in the southern port of Mariupol, the last stronghold of hundreds of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost entirely controlled by Russia after more than two months of siege.

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Kalush Orchestra is tipped to win the annual song contest, watched by an international TV audience expected to approach 200 million, helped by a wave of public sympathy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

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In a video address released ahead of the event, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he believed the Kalush Orchestra would win.

“Europe, vote for Kalush Orchestra, (song) n° 12! Let’s support our compatriots! Support Ukraine! he said, clenching his fist.




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