10:09 May. 15, 2016
Ukrainian singer wins 2016 competition with a song dedicated to Stalin's deportation of Crimean Tatars
Jamala, a Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar descent, won 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with her somber piece ‘1944', about the mass deportation of her Crimean ethnic group under the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
Ukraine scored 534 points and came ahead of the favourites – Australia, which finished second with 511 points, and Russia that was third with 491 points.
Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, had been angered by the song of Ukraine's contestant and considered it to be political.
However, Jamala, whose full name is Susana Jamaladinova, told Ukraine Today in February that she wrote the song because she was inspired by the memories of her great-grandmother, who was deported from the peninsula with her five children in 1944 along with 240,000 other Tatars.
"I don't have the words to describe my feelings in English. It was amazing. It was crazy. I was sure that, if you sing about truth, it can really touch people. And I was right," those were Jamala's first words after her victory.
Collecting her award, an emotional Jamala thanked Europe for their votes, adding: "I really want peace and love to everyone."