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Russia Barred From Eurovision Song Contest; Bolshoi Ballet In London Canceled

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) says no acts from Russia will be part of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest because of the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The union said in a statement on February 25 that the decision followed the recommendation by the Eurovision Song Contests’ governing body based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU.

"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,"the EBU statement said.

This year's finale is being held in Turin, Italy, on May 14. The annual musical pageant typically draws tens of millions of viewers across Europe and other parts of the world.

Russia had not yet announced an entrant for the splashy contest.

Ukraine will be represented by the Kalush Orchestra, which organizers describe as a “hip-hop band with a fondness for folk.”

The 2022 schedule of Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet also is being affected by reaction to the invasion.

London's Royal Opera House said on February 25 it was canceling a season of performances by the famed ensemble.

"A summer season of the Bolshoi Ballet at the Royal Opera House had been in the final stages of planning," it said in a statement. "Unfortunately, under the current circumstances, the season cannot now go ahead."

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, AP, Reuters, and AFP