Ukrainian Eurovision winners raise $900,000 for military by auctioning trophy | world news

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Ukrainian Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra have raised $900,000 (£713,000) for the country’s military by auctioning their trophy.

During the competition, the song of the group Stefania received a great show of support from the rest of the continent after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Kalush Orchestra sold the crystal microphone it received in a Facebook auction hosted by Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula on Sunday.

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The money will be used to purchase the PD-2 drone system for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which includes three aircraft and a ground control station, Prytula said.

The winning bid of 500 Ethereum – worth $900,000 or £713,000 – was placed by WhiteBit, a European cryptocurrency exchange that says it has over two million users.

Bids were accepted in both cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies.

The auction was accompanied by a raffle for singer Oleh Psiuk’s signature pink bucket hat, with tickets priced at €5 each.

Mr Prytula said the raffle raised an additional $370,000 (£293,000) for the Ukrainian military, with more than 31,000 people from 56 countries taking part.

Kalush Orchestra had taken to the streets to fight off Russian aggressors just weeks before taking the stage in Turin – instead of rehearsing for the biggest performance of their lives.

Following their victory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy defiantly vowed that next year’s contest would be held in Mariupol. The city is currently almost entirely in Russian hands.

The band then released a drama video of their song against images from several towns near Kyiv – Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka and Hostomel.

Children were shown being carried from bombed buildings by women dressed in combat gear.

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