(CNN)Jamala of Ukraine on Sunday won the Eurovision Song Contest, the longest-running international TV song contest, hosted this year by Stockholm, Sweden.
She sang “1944,” a song about the deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union on orders of Josef Stalin. Her performance was considered a strong rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military push into Ukraine, according to European media reports.
Tensions have been high between Ukraine and Russia since the latter annexed Crimea in March 2014.
Jamala, who is a Crimean Tatar, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper this week in a phone interview that her performance was not just about the end of World War II and that she had not been home since Moscow’s intervention.
“Of course, it’s about 2014 as well,” she told the newspaper. “These two years have added so much sadness to my life.”
Eurovision officials ruled the song didn’t breach rules preventing songs containing political lyrics.
“I really want peace and love to everyone,” Jamala said as she accepted the winner’s trophy. “Come to Ukraine! Thank you so much.”
Australia’s Dami Im won the most points (320) from the jury panels in 42 countries participating in the voting, but didn’t get enough points from the viewers call-in votes and finished second.
Russia’s Sergey Lazarev finished third.
Developing story – more to come
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