Russia Allowed to Compete in 'Eurovision' Despite War With Ukraine

The organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest have announced that Russia will still be able to compete in this year's competition despite the ongoing war with Ukraine.

This week, Russia began its attacks on the country of Ukraine sending missiles into airports and military bases in major cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv. These attacks have caused many feared Ukrainians to leave their homes to seek safety. President Biden spoke to Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and explained their phone call in a social media post, saying that the United States will continue to aid the citizens of Ukraine. Zelenskyy is asking world leaders to stand against President Vladimir Putin.

"I condemned this unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces," Biden wrote.

The 66th Annual Eurovision Song Contest, organized by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), is set to air between the dates of May 10th and 14th, 2022 in Turin, Italy. Musical artists from European countries come together to compete with their submitted songs in hopes to make it to the "Big Five." The viewers at home, along with the jury, choose who moves on in each round. Many countries compete, including Australia, Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, and many others. Well-known singers have previously competed in the competition such as ABBA and Celine Dion, and last year, the Italian group Måneskin won the competition.

Head of the Ukrainian broadcasting system board (UA:PBC), Mykola Chernotytsky, called out to the song competition urging them to ban Russia from competing this year. In a letter to the public, she stated, "In view of this, Russia's participation as an aggressor and violator of international law in this year's Eurovision undermines the very idea of the competition," she said.

"Russia's exclusion from this large-scale song event will be a powerful response by the international community of public broadcasters to the unacceptable aggressive and illegal actions of the Russian Federation and support for the country's state broadcasters' hostile policy of aggression."

The organizers of the event released a statement saying in-part, "The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political cultural event which unites nations and celebrates diversity through music."

They continued: "The EBU's public broadcaster members in both Russia and Ukraine have committed to participating in this year's event in Turin and we are currently planning to welcome artists from both countries to perform in May. We of course will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Eurovision 2021
Organizers of this year's 'Eurovision' have announced that Russia will still be able to compete despite the ongoing war with Ukraine. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images