Ukraine stuns Russia to win politically charged ‘Eurovision’

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STOCKHOLM: Ukrainian singer Jamala snatched victory from arch-rival Russia to win the Eurovision song contest Saturday, adding a touch of political drama to the annual kitsch extravaganza. After a tense vote count, during which it seemed Australia was going to run away with the crown until the audience votes came in, Jamala was declared the winner in Stockholm after a heart-felt performance of “1944”, a song about the deportations of Crimean Tatars during World War II. Jamala’s entry — which stirred controversy over perceived veiled criticism of Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea — scored 534 points, closely followed by Australia’s Dami Im with 511 points, the juries’ favorite. The hotly tipped former Russian child star Sergey Lazarev came in third with 491 points. Germany was the worst performer of the evening, with Jamie-Lee Kriewitz’s “Ghost” scoring just 11 points, followed by the Czech Republic with 41 points. In Moscow, public TV channel Rossiya 1’s commentators congratulated Jamala on her win, without mentioning the Crimean Tatars.

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AFP

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