LONDON (AA/APP): Government also announces nearly $12M to ‘help ensure event truly showcases Ukrainian culture’

The UK government on Saturday announced it will allocate thousands of tickets for the Eurovision song contest to Ukrainians who have fled to the country.

Ukraine won the competition in 2022 and was due to host it this year.

After the war with Russia broke out, the UK agreed to host the event on Ukraine’s behalf and said it will honor Ukrainian culture and people as a mark of solidarity.

Nearly 3,000 tickets will be made available for displaced Ukrainians, while the UK government has also announced £10 million (nearly $12 million) in funding to “help ensure the event truly showcases Ukrainian culture.”

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine means the contest cannot be held where it should be. But we are honored to be supporting the BBC and Liverpool in hosting it on their behalf, and are determined to make sure the Ukrainian people are at the heart of this event,” British Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said in a statement.

Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, said the step “will allow our compatriots here to enjoy the event and celebrate our country’s rich culture and music.”

The city of Liverpool has been chosen to host the competition this year.

Joanne Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, said Ukraine “is at the heart of all our Eurovision host city plans.”

“Working with our Ukrainian community we are shaping a thought-provoking and powerful program that is all-encompassing and representative of modern Ukraine – inspiring, poignant, funny, beautiful and moving,” she said.

Russia launched what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The conflict has so far resulted in the death of at least 8,006 civilians, with nearly 13,300 wounded, according to latest UN figures.

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