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Russia banned from entering the Eurovision Song Contest

Russia banned from entering the Eurovision Song Contest

Russia zero points! You will not be able to participate this year in the Eurovision Song Contest, the organizer of which feared the fame of one of the most popular cultural events in Europe, after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the context of the unprecedented crisis unfolding today in Ukraine, it was feared that a Russian participation this year would discredit the competition. Before making its decision, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a press release published on Friday, the EBU took time to conduct broad consultations with its members.

Russia won this competition only once, in 2008 with the song “Believe” sung in English by Dima Bilan.

Ukraine won twice, in 2004 and 2016. That year with the song “1944”, the lyrics of which today sound like a premonition, after the invasion of the country by Russian forces.

“When foreigners arrive, they come to your house, they kill you all and say we are not guilty, not guilty,” Jamala sang then, two years after the annexation of Crimea by Vladimir Putin and the outbreak of conflict. Russian separatists in the east of the country.

This time no artist representing only Russia will be able to participate in this popular event, which is broadcast live on all public television channels of the European continent and has taken on a cult dimension, but this country will not be able to vote for others.

A spokesman for the European Broadcasting Union said in an interview with AFP that Russia was “completely excluded from the whole event”, which gathers tens of millions of spectators each year.

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The country – and those who publicly support President Putin’s decision – must face back-to-back cancellations of sporting or cultural events.

“We remain determined to protect the values ​​of cultural competition that promote international exchanges and mutual understanding, bring audiences together, celebrate diversity through music and unite all of Europe on the same stage of performance,” asserts the European Broadcasting Union, which together brings together many public broadcasters and serves an audience Possibly as many as one billion people.

Italy will host the 66th edition of the competition after the victory of Italian leather-clad rocker Maneskin last year in Rotterdam.

It will be the third Italian edition of Eurovision, after Naples in 1965 and Rome in 1991.

The final takes place on Saturday 14 May at PalaOlimpico, one of the largest indoor stadiums in Italy. The semi-finals will be held on 10 and 12 May.

In 2021, nearly 190 million people watched the competition on television and on the Internet.

Football, Formula 1, Olympic sports, events planned for this year in Russia have been canceled or moved back to another country.

Famous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, famous for being close to the Russian president, was reprogrammed in Prague and replaced at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

And in Latvia, the famous rock band BrainStorm canceled its tour in Russia.