Russia Banned From Eurovision 2022 for the Invasion of Ukraine
The Eurovision Song Contest, which is an international songwriting competition hosted by the European Broadcasting Union, has officially ousted Russia from the event this year as a result of the country's invasion of Ukraine, which began yesterday morning (Feb. 24).
Eurovision 2022 will take place from May 10 though the 14 in Turin, Italy. Each country involved in the competition selects a performer to represent them, who will play an unreleased song no more than three minutes in length. The winning country hosts the contest the succeeding year.
In 2021, Italian rockers Maneskin won the competition with the song "Zitti e Buoni." Since then, they've garnered a spike in commercial success, especially in the U.S. They've done several televised performances on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.
As of yesterday, the EBU declared that Russia would still be able to participate in the competition after Ukraine requested they be forbidden, according to NPR. They stated, "The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political cultural event. The EBU is however concerned about current events in Ukraine and will continue to closely monitor the situation."
Russian troops are currently surrounding Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko has warned that it's going to be "a difficult night" for the city, according to CNN. Thus, the EBU has now changed its stance on Russia's inclusion in Eurovision, and has released a statement announcing the decision to ban the nation.
The EBU has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest's governing body, the Reference Group, based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU. The Reference Group recommendation was also supported by the EBU’s Television Committee.
The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.
Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.
The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.
We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.
Several bands have responded to the invasion since the news broke yesterday, including Ukraine's own Jinjer, who released a statement confirming their safety and condemning the decisions of Vladimir Putin.
Russia's Pussy Riot also spoke out on their social media, writing, "Putin bombs an airport of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. Extremely emotional and deeply ashamed of a sad autocrat who rules our country. Ukraine, we're sorry for having this clown-psychopath in power."