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Russia banned from Eurovision Song Contest after invading Ukraine

Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 25, 2022

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced Friday that it will not allow a Russian act in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. 

The decision comes days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

"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," the EBU said in a statement.

According to NPR, Ukrainian public broadcast network UA:PBC sent a letter to the EBU asking to have Russia removed from the contest.

Initially, the EBU said the Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and it would continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine.

However, the EBU apparently had a change of heart after a recommendation by the Eurovision Song Contest's governing body.

The Eurovision Song Contest is extremely popular in the region. Billboard reports that 183 million viewers tuned in last year.