- Jubilant singer Jamala of Ukraine managed to triumph over Russia's Sergey Lazarev with her song 1944
- The song was dedicated to her great-grandmother and is 'about Stalin, Crimea and claims of ethnic cleansing'
- It referred to WWII tragedy of her great-grandmother, when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin deported 240,000 Tatars
- Australia's Dami Im had looked set to snatch the title as votes poured in during the tense voting process
- Russia hit back after Ukraine's win, and some officials suggested the country skip next year's contest in Kiev
- A Russian senator said that the victory was 'politics beating art' as the victory added to already strained relations
In perhaps the most political Eurovision yet, singer Jamala knocked Russia's Sergey Lazarev into third with her song 1944 - which she dedicated to her great-grandmother and is reportedly about Stalin, Crimea and claims of ethnic cleansing.
After accepting the Eurovision trophy, the 32-year-old declared: 'I know that you sing a song about peace and love, but actually, I really want peace and love to everyone.'
Thrusting the glass microphone in the air Jamala yelled: 'Thank you Europe - welcome to Ukraine.'
Jamala said that she wanted to make her song 'about my great-grandmother Nazalkhan and thousands of Crimean Tatars who never had a chance to return to Crimea again.'
She belted out a lament entitled 1944 featuring the harrowing words: 'When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say, 'we're not guilty, not guilty'.'
The opera singer turned Ukranian jazz star's lyrics referred to the tragedy that befell her great-grandmother near the end of World War II, when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin deported 240,000 Tatars - almost the entire community - to barren Central Asia and other far-flung lands.
The song's status was one of the favourites along with the Russian entry, bringing unavoidable political and diplomatic undertones to the competition between two nations whose relations have been effectively frozen for two years.
Outraged Russian officials spoke out after the contest, with some calling for Russia to forgo the event in Ukraine next year.
'It was not the Ukrainian singer Jamala and her song 1944 that won the Eurovision 2016, it was politics that beat art,' Russian senator Frants Klintsevich told Russian newswires, calling for Russia to possibly skip next year's tournament in Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a bitter feud since Moscow annexed Crimea in February 2014 and was then accused of fuelling a bloody separatist uprising in the east of the country.
The crisis in Ukraine has pushed ties between Russia and the West to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
The head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's upper chamber Konstantin Kochachev insisted that 'according to the tally of points it was geopolitics that gained the upperhand.'
Kochachev said that the Eurovision victory could embolden Ukraine's pro-Western leadership and see an already stuttering peace process to end the conflict in the east jeopardised even further.
'For that reason Ukraine lost. And not only its long-suffering budget,' he wrote on Facebook.
'The thing the country needs now as much as air is peace. But war won.'
Mass-circulation tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda ran an online article entitled 'How the European jury stole victory from Lazarev'.
The outlet called for the results to be reviewed because of the 'political' content of Jamala's song and warned gay spectators they face a rough reception in Ukraine next year.
'It became obvious that this is an entirely political story - as we won first place in the public vote that was meant to counterbalance the juries.'
Russia, also a favourite to win, put in an impressive performance, with Sergey Lazarev singing You Are The Only One with huge black wings projected behind him.
Great Britain came a disappointing 24th out of 26 countries with former The Voice contestants Joe and Jake and their pop song You're Not Alone.
Their performance was part of a night of eclectic acts that included Germany's Jamie-Lee Kriewitz as a Japanese schoolgirl, Croatia's Nina Kraljic in a tin-foil covered dress and a captivating show from Malta's pregnant Marah Carey lookalike Ira Losco at host country Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena.
The Korean-Australian singer Dami wowed with her rendition of Sound of Silence and gushed in the green room that her heart-rate was 'nonstop going, going, going' as she appeared to top the leader board until the very last second. She added: 'I have to thank Europe for inviting us to be part of such a fun event.'
Graham Norton, who guided UK viewers through the grand final on BBC One, led a toast to his predecessor Sir Terry Wogan during song number nine - which this year was host country Sweden's entry, If I Were Sorry, performed by Frans.
Norton took over the job in 2009 and was narrating his first Eurovision since Sir Terry died in January.
The late broadcaster was the BBC's Eurovision commentator for almost 35 years. As Sweden's hopeful took to the stage for the ninth song, Norton said the contest was 'bittersweet' for him.
In touching tribute he said: 'Tonight Eurovision is a bittersweet one for many of us, because of course it is the first contest since the death of Sir Terry Wogan.
'Eight years ago when I was lucky enough to get this job of commentating, Sir Terry very kindly, graciously phoned me and the only bit of advice he gave me was, 'don't have a drink before song nine.' Now, this is song nine…
'So whilst the crowd here cheer on their home boy, I would urge you back in the UK at home to raise a cup a mug, a glass, whatever you have in front of you and give thanks for the man who was, and always will be the voice of Eurovision. Sir Terry this is song nine.'
The competition kicked off amid promises it would allow countries to 'set aside any differences we have' as Europe faces 'darker times'.
Hosts Petra Mede and Mans Zelmerlow welcomed the audience to the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, with a reminder the competition was founded in 1954 after Europe had been ravaged by war.
Zelmerlow said: 'Once again, Europe is facing darker times' and Mede added: 'Now we set aside any differences we have.'
Belgium's Laura Tesoro brought a dash of silver sparkle to Stockholm on Saturday as she kicked off the contest, the continent's annual music extravaganza.
The upbeat performance of 'What's the Pressure' by 19-year-old Tesoro, who bounced on stage in a shiny silver jacket with matching shorts, was followed by the Czech Republic's first-ever appearance in the final with Gabriela Guncikova performing the emotional ballad 'I Stand'.
Poli Genova wore a futuristic black and white ensemble as she represented Bulgaria with the jaunty pop song If Love Was A Crime.
Douwe Bob for the Netherlands failed to impress with a low-key guitar number of the song Slow Down, while Azerbaijan's Samra donned an embellished nude catsuit as she crooned her song Miracle.
Pop duo Joe and Jake invited viewers to be part of the staging for their Eurovision Song Contest performance in Sweden via selfies.
Former The Voice contestants Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft, represented the United Kingdom with their track You're Not Alone.
Graham Norton gave the seal of approval for their performance, and noted afterwards: 'Heads held high, well done boys. Whatever happens tonight they can be very proud of their performance tonight.'
Justin Timberlake provided half-time entertainment during the competition, opening his special guest performance with his hit Dance With Me before moving on to his new single Can't Stop The Feeling.
The audience in Stockholm were on their feet and waving flags from all over Europe as Timberlake performed one of his signature high-energy dance routines in front of a brass section and backing singers.
After his performance, commentator Graham Norton said Timberlake will not be the last big American star to appear at the music competition 'now they have realised this is the Super Bowl of Europe'.
Italy - the first of the 'big five' - the countries that make the biggest financial contribution to Eurovision - performed the song No Degree of Separation.
Brunette singer Francesca Michielin belted out the tune against a backdrop that resembled an enchanted garden with suspended balloons and flowers behind her. She finished the performance with the words 'We are precious! Grazie.'
An appearance from US pop star Justin Timberlake made this year's anniversary edition of the love-it-or-hate-it kitsch fest set to be the most-watched in the show's history.
Characterised by critics as a potpourri of bizarre performance antics, special effects and cheese, the contest is being hosted by Swedish public television for the second time in four years.
Linda Woodruff made an appearance, a spokesperson for the European Broadcasting Union, as a comedy highlight on the night, with people taking to Twitter to express their mirth.
Linda's real name is Sarah Dawn Finer, she has English blood and is Scandinavian singer who put on a comedy skit, with users saying: 'How do we vote for Linda Woodruff?' and another adding: 'I live for Linda Woodruff' on the social media site.
Germany's Jamie-Lee performed her song Ghost while wearing a blue minidress with multi-coloured candy bracelets and a bizarre Japanese anime-inspired dress.
Russia was hotly tipped to win Eurovison in today's final, as it was thought Australia hoped a power ballad and spectacular light show might just help them steal the crown.
Despite the distance from home, Australia's flag was among the most commonly waved outside the stadium.
But the betting odds favoured Russian former child star Sergey Lazarev, whose breezy Europop number You Are The Only One shared some elements with last year's winner, Mans Zelmerlow.
Russia started competing in the contest in 1994 and won in 2008.
Australia, which had been invited to participate for a consecutive year after joining the show as a one-off in 2015 to celebrate the event's 60th anniversary Building Bridges theme, was an early favourite with singer Dami Im performing Sound Of Silence.
The country had the same rights as any other competing country, with votes from a professional jury and the voting public contributing to the final scoreboard.
While pedestrians waited to cross the streets, traffic lights played Sweden's 2012 winner Euphoria by Loreen and last year's champion Mans Zelmerlow's 'Heroes'.
Enthusiastic British supporters rocking Union Jack emblazoned top hats and blazers jostled with German fans in pink onesies and Spanish spectators in teetering, vertiginous silver platforms.
Two blonde female fans from Sweden shared a kiss for the camera as others beamed and waved their flags in a show of patriotism.
Betting odds put host Sweden's Frans at number four and France's Amir, who sang J'ai cherchai in English and French, at number five. Frans, a 17-year-old who still attends high school, sang If I Were Sorry, about a break-up.
Amir was born in France to a Tunisian father and a Moroccan-Spanish mother.
A preliminary count of votes by representatives for fans and press had put Russia's Lazarev first, followed by France and Australia.
Fans and press put Italy's Francesca Michielin's flowery performance number five, despite odds suggesting a mid-table finish.
The show was broadcast to an estimated 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond.The competition among European nations and, oddly, Australia, will take place in Stockholm's Globe arena.
Russia, Australia, Ukraine, France and host nation Sweden were the bookmakers' favorites among the 26 countries competing for the title, which comes with the obligation to host the competition next year.
Those rules are a bit different for Australia - if they had won they would have co-hosted next year's show somewhere in Europe.
Sergey Lazarev, a former child star with a hipster quiff who has spoken out against his country's climate of homophobia, has an unexpected sideline making cakes for dogs.
Lazarev came to fame at the age of 12 as a squeaky-voiced pre-teen with a group called Neposedy (Scamps) before going on to form boyband Smash!!
Offstage, he runs an online bakery making savoury cakes for dogs - called Poodle-Strudel.
The 33-year-old singer has been chasing his Eurovision dream since 2008, when he lost in the national heat to rival teen idol Dima Bilan - who went on to win the contest.