Eurovision: President Zelenskyy vows Ukraine will host song contest next year

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine celebrate after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra won the 66th Eurovision Song Contest - making their country the hosts for 2023. (AP)

The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Ukraine, the war-torn country's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed.

The country - which is currently under military invasion by Russian president Vladimir Putin - stormed to victory at the 2022 song contest with Kalush Orchestra's Stefania awarded 631 points.

President Zelenskyy watched the contest from a bunker in Mariupol and said on social media: "Ukraine will be hosting Eurovision next year. For the third time in its history, and I trust not for the last time.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy watched the Eurovision Song Contest from a bunker in war-torn Mariupol. (AP)

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"We will do our best so that Ukraine's Mariupol a liberated, peaceful and city that has been rebuilt will host guests and participants of Eurovision one day."

He added: "Thank you for the victory Kalush Orchestra and everyone who voted for us.

"Our winning chord in the battle with the enemy is not far away."

Ukraine was awarded the top mark of 12 points from 28 out of 40 nations.

Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleh Psiuk said: "The victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Glory to Ukraine."

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra after winning the Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra were proud to declare a victory for their country in the song contest. (AP)

Sung in Ukrainian, Stefania fuses rap with traditional folk music and is a tribute to Psiuk's mother.

It is the third time the country has won the contest. Having made its debut at Eurovision in 2003, Ukraine won in 2004 and 2016.

Russian president Vladimir Putin began his military invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. A day later the European Broadcasting Union announced Russia would not be invited to participate in the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Italy.

Since then cities across Ukraine have been obliterated by airstrikes and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have attempted to flee the country.

Sam Ryder from United Kingdom singing Space Man performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy
Sam Ryder took second place for the United Kingdom in the 66th Eurovision song contest with 'Space Man'. (AP)

The United Kingdom came second with Sam Ryder's Space Man earning 466 points.

The UK last won Eurovision in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves' Love Shine A Light.

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Since then the UK has been placed last five times, and received 'Nil Point' twice - in 2021 and also in 2003 for Jemini's Cry Baby.

Watch: Rylan Clark's reaction to the Eurovision 2022 winners

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