Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the country has just been banned from one of the biggest shows in the world, also known as the Eurovision Song Contest. Russia was initially one of the countries set to be a part of the popular contest, however, in light of recent events, a decision has been made to officially ban Russia from taking part this year. Other countries involved in the contest had begun to push for Russia to be banned, and after quick deliberation, the announcement was made that the country will not be allowed to participate.
The European Broadcasting Union, also simply known as the EBU, came out with a public statement detailing its final decision to ban Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the EBU stated, “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.” Other European countries pushed the EBU to contemplate the original decision to allow Russia to be a part of the contest. According to the BBC, Finland informed the EBU that they would not compete if Russia took part, and a Ukrainian broadcaster also asked the union to take away Russia’s membership to Eurovision.
However, the Eurovision Song Contest isn’t the only event that Russia has recently been banned from. The Champions League final was set to take place in St. Petersburg, but has since been moved and the Grand Prix, which was set to be in Sochi, has also been canceled, according to Deadline. In light of recent events that have taken over news platforms, the decision to cancel or ban Russia from events has started to unfold. But individuals and countries are in full support of Russia’s ban. According to the BBC, Nadine Dorries, the UK Culture Secretary posted a tweet, stating that Eurovision stands for freedom and that the EBU made a smart choice in removing Russia from the competition. Dorries also stated, “Eurovision stands for freedom, unity and respect between countries – watched and enjoyed by tens of millions around the world.”
The Eurovision Song Contest has been a long running event for many years that allows multiple European countries to participate. The event is an international songwriting competition that is put on once a year by the European Broadcasting Union. Each country that participates in the contest will submit one song that has been originally written, and is then performed live on both radio and television. Russia was first entered in the contest back in 1994, and Ukraine became a part of the contest some years later in 2003.
Initially, Russia was going to be allowed to participate in the annual contest, but due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine this week, tensions have been raised. The EBU made a quick turn around and altered their decision to allow the country to be a contender for Eurovision. It is currently unknown or unclear how long Russia will be banned from the contest, but for now, the country will not be on the stage for this year’s Eurovision.