Eurovision 2017 is well underway in the Ukrainian capital, it’s almost easy to forget that a war continues in the east of the country. As the participants of this year’s Eurovision walked the red-carpet at the opening ceremony in Kyiv, Hromadske went to find out what they really know about the host country.
What do you know about the situation in Ukraine?
Tako Gachechiladze, Georgia: I know a lot about Ukraine because my dad lived here for about 10 years. This is a very similar situation, like in Georgia. This is one of the messages of my song because not everything is fine in your country, and in my country as well, even though, you have to keep the faith because everything is going to be fine. Everything, I swear, just keep it.
Levina, Germany: Of course I know about the situation. I think it’s important, obviously to know when you come to the country. Yesterday I was speaking to a Ukrainian woman, she was so positive and she said, “We are still happy to have everyone here for Eurovision, this is an important thing. We want to have peace and celebrate great music peacefully”. I feel very welcomed here.
Manel Navarro, Spain: Yeah I know about the war, but I don’t want to talk about it.
Triana Park, Latvia: We know that the situation is really tough but every country in history has experienced a lot of tough moments and I hope that Ukraine is going to be strong enough to do whatever they can. You know, history changes all the time and you have to rewrite it yourself, and I wish you all the best.
Kyiv won the opportunity to host this year’s Contest following Jamala’s victory with the song ‘1944’ in 2016. Representatives from 42 European countries (and Australia) have travelled to the Ukrainian capital to take part in Eurovision 2017 under the slogan ‘celebrate diversity’. Events culminate in the Grand Final on Saturday 13th May.