KYIV - 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.
"[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."