Following the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the nation of Russia faces yet another major point of alienation on the world stage. The famed song contest Eurovision has banned it from this year’s competition as punishment for the international incursion.
“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,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement.
The announcement comes less than a day after the EBU said that it would allow Russia to compete in the contest, prompting a number of European nations to threaten to boycott Eurovision 2022 if it didn’t take a stand against Putin.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) February 25, 2022
First established in 1956, Eurovision has become a cultural touchstone among European nations, and a major gateway to fame for aspiring recording artists. The contest has produced acts that would go on to become major recording artists, notably ABBA and Celine Dion. This year’s Eurovision will be held in Turin, Italy this May.
Twitter erupted in celebration after learning the news that Eurovision had officially banned Russia.
“Eurovision removed Russia from the competition,” one user wrote. “UEFA took the final match from Russia. Germany sent 5,000 helmets to Ukraine. Russia’s job is very difficult!”
“We have just informed Herr Hitler of his expulsion from Eurovision,” wrote @JosPastr.
“Russia has been kicked out of Eurovision, the Pope has organized a day of fasting against war, and Pedro Sánchez has told Putin to stop. If this doesn’t work I don’t know what else to do,” wrote @Piccialunga.
“Even Eurovision is taking tougher sanctions than Switzerland,” noted @ronja_beck.
Of course, we stand in solidarity with Ukraine and applaud Eurovision for its decision. Check out this performance by Ukrainian singer Jamala, who won Eurovision with her song “1944” (a song about the brutality of Russia during World War II) back in 2016…