A dingy concrete bunker was hardly in keeping with the glitz of the competition, but his joy was overwhelming
Ukraine’s commentator for Eurovision last night celebrated his country’s historic win in the competition from an underground bomb shelter.
Footage of 36-year-old Timur Miroshnychenko jumping out of his seat to shout and punch the air with joy as the announcement came through provoked a huge reaction online – just days after a photograph of him broadcasting from his dingy concrete bunker went viral.
His reaction came as Ukraine ‘s song entry – Stefania by Kalush Orchestra – was voted the overall favourite by a massive surge of good will from the telephone-voting European public.
The track, which mixes rap with elements of Ukrainian folk music, is an ode to the mothers of Ukraine who are striving to keep their children safe from harm during the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Coincidentally, Ukraine was also experiencing a different kind of war when it last won Eurovision in 2016, coming two years after Vladimir Putin’s troops invaded and subsequently annexed from it the Crimean Peninsula.
And Miroshnychenko has not only been his country’s face of Eurovision since 2007, he also had a huge part to play helping his fellow citizens when Russia first invaded back in February of this year – driving a truck delivering aid and transporting refugees out of conflict zones.
Indeed, since the invasion began more than 12 million people are said to have fled their homes in fear of their lives.
Among them are Miroshnychenko’s own two young children, who were forced to flee to Germany. It’s a separation which he admitted has been “the hardest part of war.”
“But I have to be here, of course,” he previously old Metro.co.uk. “It’s the hardest time for my country. I can’t leave it.”
He added that when conflict broke out Eurovision was the last thing on everyone’s minds.
“No one in Ukraine was thinking of Eurovision,” said Miroshnychenko.
“They thought just about how to stay alive, how to get to safe places, our families, our children.”
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