“We appreciate each and every one of you who donated to this auction,” the winners wrote on Facebook.
Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian folk band that brought home the Eurovision top prize with the song “Stefania” this year, has auctioned their winning trophy for over$900,000, or 500 ethereum, to donate to the Ukrainian army.
Hosted this weekend over Facebook (MVRS) – Get Meta Report, the auction meant to raise funds for Ukraine’s army amid Russia’s invasion piqued the interest of cryptocurrency exchange platform Whitebit.
The Glass Microphone Helping Fund The Ukrainian Army
The Tallinn, Estonia-based company made a winning bit for 500 ethereum for the glass microphone handed to the winners of the song contest.
The pink bucket hat worn by Kalush frontman Oleh Psiuk fetched another $370,000 from a private buyer in the Czech Republic.
Popular Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula hosted the auction.
“You guys are amazing!” reads the translated post on Facebook.
“We appreciate each and every one of you who donated to this auction and a special thanks to the team Whitebit who purchased the trophy for $900,000 and are now the rightful owners of our trophy.”
Further in the post, Kalush said that the money would go toward buying for three drones and a control center for the needs of the Ukrainian forces through Prytula’s charity the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation.
The unmanned aerial systems PD-2 are military-grade drones that can carry over 400 pounds for up to seven hours on their own.
While Eurovision has been taking place annually since 1956, the glass trophy has never before been sold by its recipients.
In the same week, thousands of people in the baltic nation of Lithuania came together to raise more than more than €5 million to buy an advanced military drone from Turkish weapons company Baykar.
While the song that gave Ukraine its win was originally written for Psiuk’s mother, lyrics like “I will always walk to you by broken roads” took on new meaning during wartime.
The War In Ukraine Is Ongoing
Over 10 million of Ukraine’s 40 million population was forced to flee to neighboring countries such as Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
The city of Kherson is currently under Russian control while eastern cities in the Donbas face relentless shelling as Kremlin-backed troops try to move further west.
While the auction was held virtually, Kalush also performed at a charity concert at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to raise medical supplies for people in Ukraine.
As men ages 18 to 60 are unable to leave Ukraine as the nation is conscripted during wartime, the members of Kalush received special permission to travel both for the song contest itself and subsequent contests.
At the concert, the band members urged Europeans and everyone else tuning in to not grow immune to the ongoing fighting and continue to support Ukraine.
“It should be on the front pages always, until peace comes,” Psiuk told the audience at the concert.