The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra which earlier this month has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has raised over $900,000 (£712,000; €838,000) for the war in Ukraine by selling their trophy to raise money.
The band auctioned the crystal microphone they won on Facebook with the aim of buying PD-2 drones for Ukraine’s military for the country’s war efforts against Russia’s invading forces.
Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula, who hosted the Facebook auction, announced that the planned PD-2 drone system features a ground control station and three aircraft. Both Ukrainian and Russian forces are using drones as weapons as well as reconnaissance aircraft.
Auction bids were accepted in both cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies and the winning bid of 500 Ethereums was placed by the European cryptocurrency exchange WhiteBit which has more than two million users.
The microphone sale coincided with Kalush Orchestra’s appearance at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate’s charity concert aimed at raising funds for medical care and supplies for Ukraine.
The band member Oleh Psiuk who spoke at the concert has appealed for the war to be on the front pages always, until peace comes, and asked people not to get used to it.
Just weeks before the Eurovision Contest, instead of rehearsing for the biggest performance of their lives in Turin, his band has been fighting off Russian aggressors on the streets.
Kalush Orchestra later released a video for their song featuring devastating images from Borodyanka Irpin Bucha and Hostomel, cities near the capital Kyiv with women dressed in combat gear carrying out children from bombed-out buildings.