Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, which won the Eurovision Song Contest, has sold off its trophy for $900,000 to raise money for drones for the country’s armed forces fighting Russia’s invasion.
The money raised would be used to buy three Ukrainian-made PD-2 drones, TV presenter Serhiy Prytula, who hosted the auction, announced, according to Reuters.
The crystal microphone trophy was auctioned off on Facebook, with the band writing: “You guys are amazing! We appreciate each and every one of you who donated to this auction, and a special thanks to the team (of cryptocurrency exchange) Whitebit who purchased the trophy for $900,000 and are now the rightful owners of our trophy.”
The sale on Sunday coincided with an appearance of the band at a charity concert at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, whose goal was to raise money for medical care and supplies, the BBC reported. At the concert, band member Oleh Psiuk urged people not to get used to the war, started by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. “It should be on the front pages always, until peace comes,” Psiuk said, according to the BBC.
Sweeping the public vote at the Eurovision Song Contest final on May 14, Kalush Orchestra won the competition with their song “Stefania.” The band had received special permission to leave Ukraine for the event, given that most Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to do so in case they are needed to fight.