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Eurovision opens with 'give peace a chance' as Zelensky pleads for symbolic Ukraine win

By Zoe Delaney

As the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 kicked off in Turn, Italy this evening, the arena was filled with chants of: "Give peace a chance."

As the Italian city was filled with the message of support, viewers watching at home took to social media to discuss the most politically-charged opening to a Eurovision Song Contest in recent years.

"Turin’s opening of #Eurovision with Give Peace a Chance, brought a tear to my eye and restored my faith in humanity," one viewer watching at home tweeted, with another adding: "‘All we are saying, is give peace a chance’ We’re one minute into Eurovision and I’m already getting emosh."

The Eurovision Song Contest opened with a moving gesture from those in Italy (BBC)

Another reflected on how the singing competition often reflects global issues and unity, writing: "#Eurovision here we go again, opening with “… All we are saying is give peace a chance” [peace emoji] This show is about peace, tolerance, entertainment and being European."

The moving gesture - a reference to the ongoing war in Ukraine - comes as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that a win for his country would be symbolic for his country winning their war against Russia.

Viewers watching at home were moved by the opener (BBC)

In a video shared widely on Twitter, the President of Ukraine can be heard delivering an inspiring message and discussing what a victory for Ukraine's act would mean for the war-torn country.

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra is still the clear favourite to win Eurovision 2022, as the world continues to support Ukraine following their neighbouring country Russia invading them in February this year.

Ukrainian forces are still trying to repel invading Russian forces, while thousands of innocent people have been killed and millions have been forced to flee their homes, running from Russian tanks and bombs that have pounded cities.

The opening gesture comes as Ukraine are predicted to win later this evening (BBC)

Russia were due to compete in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, but following Russian leader Vladimir Putin 's military orders, were disqualified from the annual event.

It's strongly believed that this year's Ukrainian Eurovision entry Kalush Orchestra will be victorious in Turin later this evening, as Europe continues to show solidarity with their country.

The musical act is made up of rapper Oleh Psiuk, Ihor Didenchuk, dancer Vlad Kurochka, and singers Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk.

Vitalii Duzhyk plays the traditional Ukrainian flute instrument known as the 'spolika'. The band has previously revealed that one band member dropped out in order to stay and fight for Ukraine.

Psiuk, who is part of a volunteer group giving medical supplies to refugees, said: "I cannot enjoy it while I am worried for my loved ones. The war separated me and my girlfriend. She is 300km (186 miles) away from me. We cannot meet because it is very dangerous."

This evening's Eurovision Song Contest will include 25 performances, with the show starting at 8pm, it is expected to end around midnight.

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Dive Deeper:
Eurovision opens with 'give peace a chance' as Zelensky pleads for symbolic Ukraine win
As Russia's war on Ukraine continues, the Eurovision Song Contest opened this year's event with a moving tribute to the…
Ukrainian Band Kalush Orchestra Wins Eurovision amid War
Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest, a clear show of popular support for the group's war-ravaged nation…
'Stefania Express': Ukraine cheers war-time Eurovision victory
Proud Ukrainians revelled in their Eurovision Song Contest victory on Sunday, renaming a train route in its honour as they…
Eurovision 2022: Ukraine has viewers 'in tears' with poignant performance
Up until recently, Ukraine did not know if it could take part in the competition
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Eurovision winner kisses girlfriend as he heads home to Ukraine to fight in war against Russia
Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra were granted special permission to leave the country and had to return as soon as…
Zelenskiy hails Ukraine’s Eurovision win and plans to ‘one day’ host final in Mariupol
Ukraine president said ‘victorious chord’ in war with Russia was not far off as nation celebrates Kalush Orchestra’s win
Get all your news in one place