The organising team of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, have resigned en masse amid fears that the event could collapse in the war-torn state.
Reports from Kiev said the walk out by 21 members of Ukraine’s Eurovision Committee was sparked by the appointment of a new chief official who allegedly took over the decision-making. Local Orthodox Christians condemned organisers’ plans to hold the opening ceremony in the sacred grounds of Kiev’s Saint Sophia cathedral as “blasphemy”.
The Ukraine prime minister, Volodymir Gorysman was forced to try to allay concerns over the threat to the concert – a great opportunity to showcase Kiev’s venues and event organising abilities. “Nothing threatens Eurovision,” was the PM’s forthright comment on the issue.
Ukraine, however, was urged by the European Broadcasting Union which operates Eurovision, to carry out “speedy and efficient” work.
Critics of the contest in Ukraine have persistently pointed out it is inappropriate to hold it while war rages in the country’s East.
The contest was slated for Kiev after Jamala won the 2016 competition with a political song about the deportations of Crimean Tatars under Joseph Stalin.