A band from Ukraine – after winning the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month – decided they would feel more triumphant by selling their trophy in order to help their native country fight the Russian invaders.
The band, Kalush Orchestra — whose song Stefania was selected as the winner in Turin — stated that they generated $900,000 by auctioning off the crystal microphone and an additional $370,000 by holding a raffle for the pink bucket hat worn by band leader Oleh Psyuk during the performance.
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Kalush Orchestra Helps Country Fight Russia
The proceeds from the sale will be sufficient to purchase three combat drones for the Ukrainian military. According to Reuters, the drone system comprises a ground control center that allows the pilot to direct drones.
Psiuk and his five bandmates were summoned back to Ukraine immediately following their victory. (Luca Bruno/AP)
Bids for the trophy were taken in both fiat and cryptocurrency. Kalush Orchestra revealed that the award was acquired by the cryptocurrency exchange platform Whitebit.
The rap-folk group stated on its Facebook page that it had auctioned off the trophy. “You guys are incredible!” wrote the band.
In a video message, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that cash was being provided to prevent the “collapse” of Ukraine’s economy.
No Love For German Chancellor
In recent weeks, the German chancellor was criticized at home and overseas for his reluctance to provide Ukraine more lethal weaponry. In recent days, as the Ukrainian army has battled to contain a Russian onslaught in Donbas, the pressure has increased.
Various news agencies stated that Sunday’s sale coincided with an appearance by the Kalush Orchestra at a charity event held at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to raise funds for medical care and supplies.
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At the event, Psiuk urged the audience not to become accustomed to the war, which according to the United Nations has claimed the lives of 4,031 civilians and wounded 4,735 others.
“We are grateful to everyone who donated to this auction, but we are especially thankful to the @whitebit ua team, who purchased the trophy for $900,000,” the band said.
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Singers – And Fighters – For Ukraine
Only weeks before the Eurovision singing competition, the band was fighting as part of the Ukrainian resistance. Their performance earned overwhelming acclaim from around Europe.
“Our bravery inspires the globe; our music dominates Europe! Ukraine will host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Psiuk and his five bandmates were summoned back to Ukraine immediately following their victory.
During the battle with Russia, Ukraine has ordered all men aged 18 to 60 to remain in the nation. However, the all-male group was permitted to leave to participate in Italy.
Featured image from AFP via Getty Images, chart from TradingView.com