Ukraine’s Eurovision commentator broadcasts from inside bomb shelter

Timur Miroshnychenko makes his return in grim setting as Kyiv’s act advances to final

Andy Gregory
Wednesday 11 May 2022 07:16 BST
Ukraine’s Eurovision commentator broadcasts from inside bomb shelter

Ukraine’s commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 has made his opening broadcast from a bomb shelter, as the competition’s semi-final got underway in the midst of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Timur Miroshnychenko could be seen broadcasting from a stone-walled and apparently subterranean room on Tuesday night, while performers from 17 countries took to the stage in Turin, Italy.

Touted as potential favourites to win this year’s contest, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra were among the first to be voted through to the competition’s Grand Final on Saturday, after delivering an energetic performance of their song “Stefania”.

Moldova, Switzerland, Armenia and Iceland were also among the 10 countries which advanced from Tuesday’s semi-final.

A further 18 nations’ competitors will take to the stage on Wednesday, with 10 acts voted through from each night to the final.

Mr Miroshnychenko has been Ukraine’s commentator each year since 2007, except when he co-hosted the competition in 2017, when it took place in Kyiv following the country’s victory the year prior with the song “1944” by Jamala.

Photographs posted by Ukraine’s official Eurovision Instagram account gave a glimpse of the bunker from which he is broadcasting this year – live to both Youtube and the public TV channel UA: CULTURE – and showed him sitting at a small desk surrounded by a camera, lights, and an array of cables.

In Turin, Kalush Orchestra’s performance – which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore – appeared to be well-received by the audience, which heavily cheered the group and waved many Ukrainian flags.

Amid widespread European opposition to Mr Putin’s invasion, there has been an outpouring of general support for Ukraine and its resistance across the continent.

Mr Putin launched what he terms Russia’s “special military operation” on 24 February, but after failing to seize Kyiv, Moscow’s troops retreated to the eastern Donbas region, where Western analysts suggest his offensive again appears to be stalling.

Despite the renewed focus on the battle in Ukraine’s east, the possibility of Russian airstrikes still remain a threat across the country, with the western city of Lviv having been struck last week.

Additional reporting by PA

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