With their performance at the ESC, the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra drew attention to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The frontman now says they are also ready to go to war.

Oleh Psyuk (28), Ukrainian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, says he has no friends from Russia.

“I don’t have any Russian friends, and I’ve never had any,” said the frontman of the band Kalush Orchestra in the news program “RTL direct” with Jan Hofer on Monday evening in Berlin. “As far as culture is concerned, we have different cultures. Ours is maximally different from the Russian one. We also went to the Eurovision Song Contest with this goal: to show how unique our music and culture are.”

One of the band members is already fighting at the front, said Psjuk, and he and the others are also ready: “We are absolutely open to it, and if we are called up, we will return to Ukraine immediately.” He himself has already lost some friends and acquaintances: “It’s a tragedy that’s getting bigger.”

Psyuk: The world must not get used to the Ukraine war

The world should not get used to this war, said Psjuk. “I believe that the news about the war should stay on the front pages because it is not normal to have a cruel war in the heart of Europe in 2022.”

Kalush Orchestra won the 66th ESC in Turin in mid-May with the song “Stefania”. Especially in the audience ratings from all over Europe, the band was clearly ahead. Against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the clear victory was also taken as a signal of solidarity by audiences in dozens of countries. Russia had been excluded from the ESC because of the war.

On Sunday evening, the Kalush Orchestra performed at a show at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, where music stars from Ukraine commemorated the war in their homeland and solicited donations for hospitals. Shortly before the performance, the musicians announced on Sunday that they had auctioned their ESC winner’s trophy for the benefit of their home country’s army.