Ukraine came under fire from Russian rockets on Saturday when the Eurovision Song Contest took place, including the university town of Ukrainian artist Tvorchi, the British ambassador said.
“Meanwhile, this Eurovision night, Ukraine will again be attacked by Russian missiles,” tweeted Dame Melinda Simmons.
“Remind you that the reason (Ukraine) could not host this event is that (Russia) continues to invade and the people of (Ukraine) are in continued danger.”
Ukrainian officials said rockets hit Ternopil, a city in western Ukraine several hundred miles from the front line of the Russian invasion.
Ternopil Oblast Governor Volodymyr Trush reported that warehouses belonging to trading companies and a religious organization caught fire. He said two civilians were hospitalized with shrapnel injuries and burns as a result of the attack.
The governor wrote on Telegram: “I ask all residents of Ternopil Oblast not to be near the scene of the fire under any circumstances.” I remind you – the curfew continues!”
Ternopil Mayor Serhii Nadal urged residents to stay in a safe place until the air alert stops.
Praising the Ukrainian contestants in the singing competition, Dame Melinda said: “Tvorchi (definitely) wins the graphic arts award. The staging was brilliant.
“And poignant as their university hometown of Ternopil was attacked by (Russian) missiles that night.”
The electronic duo, consisting of producer Andrii Hutsuliak and singer Jeffery Kenny, who grew up in Nigeria, hope to defend the title after the Kalush Orchestra claimed victory last year due to a wave of public support.
Inspired by the bravery of the Ukrainian people, their song “Heart Of Steel” caused cheers from the audience at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena after it featured lyrics in both English and Ukrainian.
At the end of their performance, the pair held their fists in the air, while performances from other nations were also seen waving the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine.
Bookmakers have predicted Tvorchi will do well with voters but they face stiff competition from absolute favorites Sweden and Finland.
This year’s competition marks the first time in 25 years that the UK has hosted a final. It was decided Liverpool would host after Ukraine, the 2022 winners, said it was not possible due to the ongoing invasion of Russia.
Several developments took place on the battlefield in Ukraine on Saturday. After Russia admitted it had withdrawn from parts of Bakhmut, Ukraine said its troops were advancing on the key city from two directions.
Meanwhile, the independent Russian news agency Kommersant reported that four Russian military planes had been shot down in home territory.
Kommersant said on its website that the Su-34 fighter-bomber, Su-35 fighter plane and two Mi-8 helicopters formed an attack squad and were “shot down almost simultaneously” in an ambush in the Bryansk region bordering northeast Ukraine.
Russia’s state-run news agency Tass said a Russian Su-34 fighter jet crashed in the region, but gave no cause.