Ruslana, the Ukrainian winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, has received massive amounts of praise in her homeland, from her mother to the President. Nina Arkadyevna, proud mother of the victorious singer, told the Segodnya newspaper that “everyone here has fallen in love with Ruslana”.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma sent the following personal message of congratulations to Ruslana on her victory: “You provided an unforgettable evening for millions of Ukrainian families… Thanks to you, the world will know more of the voices and melodies of Ukraine”.
The victory is especially important to a country that has had it�s image blighted since before the fall of the Soviet Union and the world�s worst nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power station. Ruslana has helped to improve Ukraine�s image on the international stage and point towards the good side of the nation.
Ukraine, who are keen to join the European Union, feel that this win can only improve their prospects, UT1 (the Ukrainian broadcaster) said: “Ruslana's victory is not as much a victory in a singing contest as a powerful statement about our state. It says: “This is us, we are a country at the heart of Europe, we want, we can, we will”.