The 62nd Eurovision Song Contest is underway in Kyiv, Ukraine. Hromadske visited the Eurovision Village on Khreshchatyk St. in search of guests from abroad.
Hromadske met visitors from the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Germany, Azerbaijan, Estonia and Russia. We asked them about their impressions of the contest, and how safe they feel in Ukraine. They also shared their opinions on Russia's absence from the competition.
Ariadna, Spain: This Eurovision is awesome! It's great! The organization is perfect, it's one of the best Eurovisions.
Sergi, Spain: The Euroclub is great! The only problem is that it's a bit far from everywhere else, but inside it's great. I really like it, we go every night.
Anne and Gunnar, Germany: Everybody is very friendly, it's very nice. It's Eurovision everywhere! Eurovision in the town, in the shopping mall...it's a nice feeling. You see the people that you met the day before at the show, or in the club, or on the streets, and it's like a big family.
Robert, Sweden: It was scary because of the war, we didn't know what could happen. But now I feel safe here, the war is a ways away.
Mike, Germany: It's more than I expected. It's well organized. When arriving at the airport there was a separate line to get into the country. I was a little afraid to come to Ukraine, but now I feel good.
Anita, the Netherlands: I think Russia did it on purpose –sending someone who cannot get into Ukraine.
Karl, Sweden: I'm sad for Russia, because they always send very good songs to Eurovision...But I think they knew what they were doing, because she had been in Crimea singing.
Gennart, the Netherlands: I miss them so much! No way...I think it was very obvious what they did sending that girl, who they knew the Ukrainian government would ban and I think it was such a horrible move on their part. I'm glad that they're not here this year.
Eurovision events take place in three key locations in Kyiv. The competition itself takes place at the International Exhibition Centre, near the Livoberezhna metro station. Parties take place at the "Euroclub" in the Parkovy Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Khreschatyk Eurovision Village is the contest's festival area, which includes live entertainment, souvenir shopping and screenings of the shows.