Selenskij is not allowed to speak at the ESC – media

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is not allowed to speak with a video message at the Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place this Saturday in Liverpool. The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the music competition, has prevented this. Although Selensky’s request had a “laudable intention”, it could not be granted because the ESC is a decidedly non-political event and the video statement of a head of state making a political statement violates this principle, which has been cultivated for decades.

The ESC is seen in dozens of European and neighboring countries in North Africa and Western Asia. It reaches more than 180 million viewers every year. Last year’s winner was the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra – so normally this year’s competition should have taken place in the Ukraine. With that not possible due to the ongoing war, Great Britain, the second-placed country, stepped in and chose Liverpool as the venue.

At the final on Saturday, Ukraine will not only be prominently represented in the regular competition, but also in the supporting program. In addition to last year’s group, eleven other artists from Ukraine will be performing. As far as winning the ESC is concerned, according to the bookmakers, Sweden and Finland have the best chances of winning. The German group Lord of the Lost is in the middle.

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