Eurovision Song Contest Winner Sells Trophy To Buy Drones For Ukraine
Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian band which won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, have sold their trophy for $900,000 (£712,000; €838,000) to raise money for the war in Ukraine.
The crystal microphone was auctioned on Facebook, with the aim of buying drones for Ukraine’s military.
The sale coincided with the band’s appearance at a charity concert at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. It aimed to raise money for medical care and supplies.
Speaking at the concert, band member Oleh Psiuk appealed to people not to get used to the war.
“I think it should be on the front pages always until peace comes,” said Psiuk.
Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula said the money raised from the sale of the trophy would be used to purchase three Ukrainian-made PD-2 drones, Reuters news agency reports.
Meanwhile, the Russian-appointed head of Melitopol says there has been a powerful explosion in the south-eastern city on Monday morning.
Plumes of black smoke are visible in the centre of the city, Vladimir Rogov said on the Telegram messaging app. The explosion shook the walls and windows of buildings on several streets, he added.
According to some reports, the blast occurred in the area where the Russian-appointed “head of the Zaporizhzhia region” Yevgeny Balitsky is located.
Russian forces took over the city early on in the war, back in February. But there has been fierce resistance from residents ever since.
Taking control of the Donbas in eastern Ukraine is an “unconditional priority” for Russia, the country’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview.
Referring to Russia’s attack as a “liberation”, Lavrov defended the invasion which was launched three months ago.
Donbas is a mining belt made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which have historically had strong ties to Russia.
Mr Lavrov told TF1 that taking control of “the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, recognised by the Russian Federation as independent states, is an unconditional priority”.