Ukraine's Eurovision winner releases a music video filmed in the rubble

Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra said it filmed the video in the towns of Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka and Hostomel. PHOTO: NYTIMES

TURIN (NYTIMES) - Hours after their Eurovision Song Contest victory in Italy, Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra released a music video for its winning song on Sunday (May 15) that was filmed in the ruins of towns that were heavily bombed during Russia's invasion.

Kalush Orchestra said it filmed the video in four towns north of Kyiv - Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka and Hostomel - that were among the hardest hit by Russia's failed attempt to advance and seize the capital.

Russian forces retreated from the area last month, leaving evidence of atrocities and extensive damage in their wake.

The band's Eurovision victory was seen as a show of solidarity and a pop culture endorsement of Ukraine, illustrating how the war has unified Europe against Russian aggression.

In the new video, the Ukrainian rap and folk band used actors and the backdrop of war to reinterpret the song's maternal tribute as a broader homage to Ukraine.

The video follows soldiers as they carry children out of fiery rubble and blasted buildings, a nod to the original theme of the song, Stefania.

It was written in honour of the mother of the band's frontman Oleh Psiuk.

"You can't take willpower from me, as I got it from her," raps the 28-year-old, according to a translation, as he stands in a ruined building.

In the video's credits, the band said the song was "dedicated to the brave Ukrainian people, to the mothers protecting their children, to all those who gave their lives for our freedom".

The video closes with a simple message: "Stand with Ukraine!"

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