Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Zelenskyy hails Eurovision win as military regains ground in east


Bouyant after Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest with its song “Stefania,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed early Sunday that his country would do its best to one day host the competition in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.

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Mariupol remains almost entirely in Russian hands aside from a few hundred Ukrainian fighters who continue to hold out in the city’s Azovstal steel plant. But elsewhere in Ukraine’s east, Zelenskyy, who met with a Senate delegation led by Republican leader Mitch McConnell Saturday, said in his late night video address that Ukraine’s forces had made progress.

Ukraine’s military also said that Russian forces were retreating from Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, and in an intelligence briefing Sunday, Britain’s defense ministry said that Moscow’s offensive had “lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule.”

Ukraine was crowned the winner Saturday of Eurovision Song Contest.

The contest tweeted the winner.

The Ukrainian band was the beneficiary of a last-minute wave of 439 votes from the television audience that put it in front.

Winning Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mother, but became an anthem for the war-torn country.

“Indeed, some stuff in here was written long before the war, and it was dedicated to my mother,” frontman Oleh Psiuk told The Associated Press.