Russia Is Banned From Eurovision 2022

After the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in the early hours of Feb 24, Western governments made some solid international decisions. These decisions varied from political statements to bans from art and sports competitions. Just as the Champions League final and F1's Russian Grand Prix, Russia had been banned from Eurovision’s this year's song competition.

Simply, Eurovision is an annual song contest where the countries of Europe, alongside several non-European countries, attend with new, interesting, and sometimes political songs. With five top-five finishes in the past decade, Russia has been one of the strongest Eurovision performers. It has won the contest once in 2008 with Dima Bilan by the song “Believe”. Despite the achievements, on Feb 25 the Executive Board of the European Broadcasting Union said “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.” UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted: "Eurovision stands for freedom, unity, and respect between countries - watched and enjoyed by tens of millions around the world. Glad to see Eurovision taking action and kicking Russia out." Furthermore, despite the ban of attending the contest, Russians will also be unable to cast votes for its winner because of the risks of Russia sending a musical act to the contest. Russian Senator Sergei Tsekov condemned the European songwriting competition for being politicized but expressed indifference to the ban. The 66th edition of Eurovision in 2022 is planned to take place in Turin, Italy, by the virtue of Italian rock band Maneskin winning the 2021 contest.


At the same time, artists all around the world are criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For instance, Stevie Nicks said “This is Hitler coming back to haunt us. In one evening, until now, an entire sovereign country has been full-on invaded,” in the letter she wrote. Earlier in the letter, Nicks explained how she had checked in on a Ukrainian friend. After her friend said “watching the news all night”, not even an hour later Nick learned that “she was now just trying to escape”. Also, a Russian punk band/activist Pussy Riot tweeted minting an NFT of the Ukrainian flag that is planned to raise funds for Ukrainian civilian groups. Musicians all around the world are sharing the word “peace” over and over again. As Confucius once said, “When music and courtesy are better understood and appreciated, there will be no war.”

 

Kaan Kanadaşı