Accessibility links

Ukraine President Honors Eurovision Winner Jamala with Award

  • Reuters

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and Eurovision winner Jamala pose for a photograph after Poroshenko awarded the winner with a state award, in the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 16, 2016.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and Eurovision winner Jamala pose for a photograph after Poroshenko awarded the winner with a state award, in the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 16, 2016.

Eurovision Song Contest winner Jamala has been awarded the title of Honored Artist of Ukraine in Kyiv following her weekend victory at the competition with her "1944" song about war-time deportations of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian politicians, including President Petro Poroshenko, who handed the singer the award on Monday, have hailed the win, one of the most controversial in the contest's history. Moscow said the competition had been hijacked by politics.

Jamala, who is of Crimean Tatar descent, had drawn parallels in interviews to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, which provoked Western condemnation of Moscow and was opposed by many in the region's Tatar minority.

Ukraine's Jamala celebrates with the trophy after winning the Eurovision song contest final with "1944" in Stockholm, Sweden, May 15, 2016.

Ukraine's Jamala celebrates with the trophy after winning the Eurovision song contest final with "1944" in Stockholm, Sweden, May 15, 2016.

"[I did it] not for the medals, not for rewards, I did it very sincerely for the people because we deserve it," she told reporters. "We have suffered a lot. First it was a revolution, then the annexation, then the war. We had so much suffering that
I wanted so much to bring some joy to Ukrainian people."

XS
SM
MD
LG