Russia banned from Eurovision after invasion of Ukraine

Russia banned from Eurovision after invasion of Ukraine

Russia will no longer perform at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union has announced.

On Thursday (24 February), organisers of the annual contest announced that they had no plans to prevent Russia from taking part in this year’s event, despite urging by Ukraine’s public broadcaster over the ongoing invasion of their country.

However, on Friday (25 February), the EBU backtracked and explained that Russia would no longer be allowed to compete.

“The EBU has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest,” the statement read.

The group said that they had “widely” consulted their membership on the matter and had made a decision based on “a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest’s governing body”.

“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.”

In their original statement, the EBU said that they would not ban Russia as Eurovision was “a non-political cultural event which unites nations and celebrates diversity through music”.

The statement was met with heated criticism from Eurovision fans and high-profile public figures.

Many countries then called on the EBU to ban Russia, with Dutch broadcaster Avrotos, co-organiser of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, backing Ukraine in urging the EBU to reconsider.

Russia had not yet announced its act for Eurovision 2022.

Follow live updates on the Russia-Ukraine crisis here.