Eurovision viewers in Ukraine, Russia show mutual support in vote

Despite political tensions between Ukraine and Russia, viewers in the neighbouring countries awarded high points to each other's Eurovision Song Contest entries in a televote, detailed results showed Sunday.

Ukraine's entry - the mournful 1944 by Jamala - won the contest with support from all but one of the 41 countries whose national juries and viewers were eligible to vote. Iceland was the only country that did not award Jamala a single point.

The detailed results of the finale showed that the Russian national jury did not give any points to Jamala's performance, and the Ukrainian national jury did not award a single point to Russia's Sergey Lazarev, who had been tipped as one of the favourites to win.

But viewers in the two countries were far more supportive of each other: In Russia, Ukraine's entry placed second behind Armenia in the televote, while viewers in Ukraine awarded Russia their top score of 12 points.

The show's rules prevent voters from supporting their own country's entry, said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which runs Europe's largest television event.

Jamala's song had generated heated reactions with its reference to the year that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ordered the mass deportation of ethnic minority Tartars from Crimea to Central Asia.

The 32-year-old Jamala, whose real name is Susana Jamaladynova and is a Tartar herself, said her self-composed song was inspired by her own great-grandmother's fate.

Tensions have remained high between Kiev and Moscow after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014 and support of pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The EBU results showed that national juries - who decided 50 per cent of the vote - gave Australia 320 points, well clear of Jamala who finished second in that category with 211 points, while Russia's Lazarev was fifth with 130 points.

The Russian song You Are The Only One won the overall televote, scoring 361 points compared to Ukraine's 323 points. Australia's female singer Dami Im finished fourth in the televote with 191 points.

This year, the votes were split and announced in two parts.

Immediately after being declared winner with a total of 534 points, Jamala said she wanted "peace and love to everyone."

She has been congratulated for "an unbelievable performance and victory" by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Last update: Sun, 15/05/2016 - 14:14

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