Eurovision organizers claim that the risk of Russian air attacks and mass casualties makes it unsuitable to host the competition next year in Kyiv. They appealed to not be “politicized”.
Tradition says that the winner country hosts the next year’s event. However, the conflict in Ukraine has seen the European Broadcasting Union close to being runners-up to the UK.
The BBC is currently in discussions with the EBU to host the event.
Boris Johnson, said last week that he hopes Ukraine can still host the competition. He stated, “Kyiv, or any other safe Ukrainian capital, would be a wonderful place to have it.”
The EBU however, stated that it fully understood the disappointment at the announcement that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest could not be held in Ukraine, this year’s winner country.
“About 10,000 people are typically accredited to work at the Eurovision Song Contest, including staff, journalists, and crew.
“An additional 30,000 fans are expected from around the globe to attend the event. We are concerned for their welfare.
“It is important that broadcasting professionals make decisions in relation to complex live TV events and don’t become politicized.”
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Oleksandr Tkachenko (the Ukraine’s culture minister) and the three previous winners pushed back against the EBU’s earlier decision. They argued that hosting the contest in Ukraine would send “strong signals” of support.
However, organizers stated that there was a “severe risk” of missile strikes or air raids causing large casualties and the risk of a major casualty event was “high”.
The victory in May by the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra lifted spirits at home. Thanks to Sam Ryder’s rendition of “Space Man”, the UK came in second place in the 2022 contest.