Ukrainian band has no regrets about breaking rules

Ukrainian band has no regrets about breaking rules

The Kalush Orchestra, Ukraine's Eurovision Song Contest winners, had no regrets about pushing the limits of the competition's ban on political content. The lead singer argued on Tuesday that there was no choice.

Oleh Psiuk ended his performance in the internationally televised grand final on Saturday with an appeal on behalf of the devastated city of Mariupol and the people trapped beneath its Azovstal steel plant, the last bastion of resistance against a monthslong siege by Russian forces.

Mr. Psiuk, 28, said he felt he had to use the platform that the band has gained as one of the most effective international voices for a country at war, channelling public sympathy into an overwhelming victory in the 39 country phone-in vote.

He said no rule could stop us from delivering a message we feel in our souls. And our Ukrainian souls tell us: If we can rescue a thousand people, in a way, while breaking the rules of competition, then let s do it.

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