Envoy slams Ukrainian jury for zero points to Poland at Eurovision

The group had been helped to victory by the 12 points it got from the Polish jury, but the Ukrainian jury failed to give Krystian Ochman from Poland a single point. ALESSANDRO DI MARCO/PAP/EPA

Ukraine's ambassador to Poland has criticised the Ukrainian jury of the Eurovision Song Contest for not awarding a single point to Poland.

The annual musical extravaganza, held in the northern Italian city of Turin on Saturday, was won by the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra.

The group had been helped to victory by the 12 points it got from the Polish jury, but the Ukrainian jury failed to give Krystian Ochman from Poland a single point.

In a tweet on Sunday, Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia referred to the Ukrainian jury as "bureaucrats" and praised the Ukrainian public’s vote which, unlike the jury, gave Poland 12 points, the highest possible score.

"I am proud of the Ukrainians and Poles who rated our performers at Eurovision 2022 with the highest number, 12 points... The people's voice will always be more important than the evaluation of a few bureaucrats who joined the Ukrainian Eurovision jury," he wrote.

The Ukrainian culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, quoted by the Ukrinform news agency, commented on the decision of his country's jury which also did not award any points to the representative of Lithuania.

He said that Ukrainian jury giving no points to Poland, Lithuania at Eurovision is "a real shame."

Addressing Poland and Lithuania, Tkachenko said that such an assessment "in no way reflects our actual attitude towards you, our closest friends in Europe".

"And although the competition is not political.... it is about friendship, shared values and general support in all fields," he said.

He added that Ukraine is "eternally grateful" to Poles.

"Our victory is common: both at Eurovision and defeating the enemy," he wrote.

Irina Fedyshyn, a member of the Ukrainian jury, posted an image of her voting card showing that she gave Poland 10 points. She did not hide her indignation with the final result, adding that she was shocked.

Fedyshyn admitted that the situation was "unpleasant": not only for Poland, but also for her personally. She added that she did not know why the jury of her country did not give the Polish performer a single point.

"Although Eurovision is still like an apolitical competition, it is difficult to turn away when there is war in your country and Poland reaches out a helping hand to you" she said.