ISTANBUL – The Ukrainian singer and former winner of the Eurovision Song Contest appealed to the President of Turkey on Monday to save Ukrainian fighters from the besieged city of Mariupol amid the Russian war.

Ruslana, whose song “Wild Dances” catapulted her at number 1 at the 2004 music competition, performed at a press conference in Istanbul. Beside her stood the mother and wife of the “defenders of Mariupol” – Ukrainian fighters who defend the capital’s plant.

“Stay with Ukraine. Unite for Ukraine. Help Mariupol. Help Azovstal. Help our brave Ukrainian soldiers, ”she said. “I really believe that today Turkish President Erdogan, who has an international role and presence, will help our citizens in need.”

Several hundred Ukrainian militants are estimated to be at the Azovstal large steel plant, the last hotbed of resistance in the city, which has largely fallen into ruin in the past two months.


Ruslana’s comments came as Europe sought to step up its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden joined Finland in seeking NATO membership, and European Union officials are working to bail out proposed sanctions against Russian oil.


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