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Irish Independent

PM says Ukraine’s Eurovision win is a show of solidarity for ‘fight for freedom’

Boris Johnson has joined a chorus of praise for the success of Ukraine at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest (Eurovision 2022/PA)

Boris Johnson has joined a chorus of praise for the success of Ukraine at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, calling it a “reflection” not just of talent, but “unwavering support” for the country’s “fight for freedom”.

“Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the @Eurovision Song Contest 2022,” the PM posted to Twitter.

“It is a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom.”

Mr Johnson also extended congratulations to Britain’s runner-up in the competition, writing: “Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how he brilliantly represented the UK tonight.”

Ukraine won the competition with folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, followed by the UK’s Sam Ryder in second place.

Ukraine have been the competition favourites since Russia’s invasion – which prompted organisers to ban the aggressor from competing.

Receiving the trophy, Kalush Orchestra said: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukraini.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries repeated “Slava Ukraini!” (glory to Ukraine!) in tweeting her congratulations.

“What a fabulous night. So close for the amazing @SamRyderMusic but with #Ukraine coming 1st this is still a wonderful result,” she said.

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Scottish television presenter Lorraine Kelly posted a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin: ‘Congrats to UKRAINE – get it right up you Putin – and our @SamRyderMusic did us proud.”

Ryder’s placement marks the first time in 20 years that the UK has placed in the top three, clinching the spot with his pop song Space Man.

Katrina Leskanich, who sang the last winning UK entry, Love Shine A Light by Katrina and the Waves, tweeted: “Three cheers for Sam Ryder what a fantastic result for #UK.”

Actor John Barrowman tweeted: “Congratulations on 2nd place #Eurovision #samryder because of you and the song #Spaceman the United Kingdom is back in the game.”

Former winner Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz, tweeted: “Wasn’t this the best @Eurovision for years?

“Not just because the brilliant @SamRyderMusic came 2nd, but it was a show of love, joy, inclusivity and no animosity.”