In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest announced that Russian performers will not be competing in this year’s competition.

Why? : The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) released a statement on Twitter: “In light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s contest would bring the competition in to disrepute.”

  • The EBU said it is an apolitical organization with a commitment to upholding the values of public service.
  • This decision was made with intentions to protect the values of a cultural competition by bringing countries together to celebrate diversity, according to the EBU.

What is the Eurovision Song Contest?: Dating back to 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is a musical competition between European countries.

  • Each participating country must select its performer for the contest. Contestants make their way to the host city to perform in a series of rounds to determine the winner of the contest.
  • Winners are chosen by a mix of votes from industry professionals and citizens watching the competition at home, according to the Eurovision website.

Ukraine calls for the EBU to remove Russia from the competition: Ukraine’s Public Broadcasting asked EBU to remove Russia from the contest, according to a Ukrainian news website.

  • This request was made because of claims from Ukraine’s Public Broadcasting, accusing Russian media companies of spreading propaganda, misinformation, hate speech and violating journalistic standards.

Previous Russian competitors speak out: Manizha, last year's Russian Eurovision contestant, made a post on Instagram speaking out against Russia’s invasion, according to The Moscow Times.

  • “The current aggression is against my will, against the will of my family, I believe that is against the will of our peoples,” said Manizha.

Looking ahead: The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest will be held May 10-14 in Turin, Italy.