Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, popular winners of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, have raised $900,000 for their country’s military by auctioning their winners’ trophy.
The auction for the crystal microphone trophy was conducted on Facebook on Sunday by Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula.
“You guys are amazing! We appreciate each and every one of you who donated to this auction and a special thanks to Team WhiteBIT who purchased the trophy for $900,000 and are now the rightful owners of our trophy. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Kalush Orchestra posted on Facebook on Monday.
The funds raised will be used to buy the PD-2 unmanned aerial drone system, which includes three aircraft and a ground control station, for the Ukrainian military, Prytula said at the auction, per Reuters.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February and the conflict has claimed thousands of lives, left millions replaced and reduced cities to ashes. Kalush Orchestra rode a wave of public sentiment and were crowned Eurovision Song Contest champions for their entry “Stefania.”
The song, which mixes folk with rap, was written as a tribute to lead singer Oleh Psiuk’s mother, but contains lyrics including “I will always walk to you by broken roads; She will not awaken, won’t wake, me in strong storms; She will take two fig signs from grandma, as if they were bullets,” which have been used by Ukrainian fighters as a patriotic anthem.
On Sunday, Kalush Orchestra performed at a charity concert at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in order to raise money for medicines and other supplies.