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Russia excluded from Eurovision Song Contest after Ukraine invasion

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ussia has been excluded from participating in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after it invaded Ukraine.

The European Broadcasting Union, which produces the competition, said in a statement that the inclusion of a Russian entry at the 2022 event in Turin would bring the contest into disrepute.

Its statment said: “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 organisation 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.”

On Thursday organisers of the annual contest had faced a backlash after announcing that they had no plans to prevent Russia from taking part, despite urging by Ukraine’s public broadcaster. There was widespread disbelief and heated criticism from Eurovision fans.

Dutch broadcaster Avrotos, co-organiser of the 2021 contest, was among those who had asked the EBU to reconsider.

State broadcasters from other countries including Iceland, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands had also called for Russia to be banned from competing.

The 66th edition of Eurovision is due to take place in Turin after Italian rock band Maneskin won the 2021 contest.

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