Russia has been banned from this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - which produces the event - has announced the decision to ban Russia from the show, saying it could bring the competition into disrepute "in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine".

In a statement, the EBU 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.

"Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.

"The EBU is an apolitical member organisation of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service."

The organisation explained that it's determined to protect the "values" of the event, which is due to be held in Turin, Italy, in May.

The statement explained: "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."

Russia launched an attack on Ukraine on Thursday (24.02.22), but the EBU initially insisted the country would be able to compete at Eurovision.

The organisers explained that they were "currently planning" to host entrants from both Russia and Ukraine.

The statement said at the time: "We of course will continue to monitor the situation closely."

However, Ukraine's state broadcaster, UA:PBC, called for Russia to be suspended from the event, which was won by Italy's Maneskin in 2021.

The broadcaster described their Russian counterparts as a "mouthpiece for the Kremlin and a key tool of political propaganda".

UA:PBC also described the situation as being "contrary" to the values of the EBU.

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