Stefania is the most watched song on YouTube among the 35 entries that will compete in Turin. Oleh Psyuk is from Kalush in western Ukraine and thinks of the Ukrainians who are currently suffering
Oleh Psyuk has told how he wrote the Ukrainian Eurovision song in tribute to his mother, before the Russian bombs started falling.
But now the track, Stefania, has taken on new meaning, helping millions of brave Ukrainians and becoming an anthem in their war-ravaged country.
Ukraine’s entry for tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest is already winning hearts across Europe and many are predicting a landslide victory for Oleh’s band featuring Ihor Didenchuk and MC Kilimmen, Kalush Orchestra.
Sayings such as “I will always find my way back, even if all the roads are destroyed” have become more poignant as more than 11 million Ukrainians have fled.
Oleh said, “The song was dedicated to my mother and was written long before the war. But after it all started, people started to hear it differently.
“A lot of people now perceive all of Ukraine as their mother, or a lot of people just miss their mother.”
Stefania is the most watched song on YouTube among the 35 entries that will compete in Turin. Oleh, from Kalush in western Ukraine, said the suffering of fellow countrymen in the six-man group, as well as that of their own friends and relatives back home, was on their minds.
He added: “Of course we are still worried. There are many friends that I know who suffered from this war, people who died. It’s just awful.
“You wake up hearing explosions and every morning you don’t know if all your friends and family are alive or not.
“It’s really horrible. When I see these images on TV of Bucha or Mariupol, I can only feel these horrible emotions which are indescribable. I have relatives who went to fight. We will never forgive our enemy the hundreds of deaths of innocent children, people tortured, houses burned down and all the bombs dropped on civilians.
AFP via Getty Images)
In the early days of the war in February, Oleh founded a volunteer organization called Where Are You? to help refugees find shelter.
He said: “We see Ukraine’s representation in Eurovision as part of the war effort.
“Everyone who sees and hears us means that we remain focused on Ukraine.
“I think I’m most helpful to my country by doing this.
“Like the Ukrainian people, I believe we can win the war.”