The Ukrainian delegation was fined at Eurovision for T-shirts with the inscription “Free Azovstal Defenders”

Liza Brovko

Eurovision 2024 organizers fined the Ukrainian delegation for wearing T-shirts with the inscription “Free Azovstal Defenders” — a call to release the Ukrainian defenders of “Azovstal” from captivity.

The singer Alyona Alyona wrote about it.

Prints with inscriptions and branding were prohibited at the song contest. All inscriptions were requested to be covered with black tape. The security checked all the clothes of the participants and the delegation.

Therefore, before entering the green room, representatives of the Ukrainian delegation put on “Free Azovstal Defenders” t-shirts and hid them under other clothes.

"We knew that when they will show the repetitions of the performances of all the artists, they will also show the delegation itself. Therefore, when the camera approached us, our team quickly opened up and showed our appeal to the whole world. We took a lot of risks, but everything worked out. They fought back simply with a financial fine," wrote Alyona Alyona.


How "Eurovision-2024" went

The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 was held in Malmö, Sweden. There were supposed to be 26 participants, but the representative from the Netherlands Joost Klein was disqualified due to allegations of violent behavior towards a female television crew member after his performance in the semi-finals. His case is handled by the police, and the Dutch broadcaster said that Klein did not touch the operator.

The competition itself was held with protests by pro-Palestinian activists, who demanded the removal of the participant from Israel against the background of the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, which began in response to the attack by the Palestinian movement Hamas on October 7, 2023. Police in Malmö had to increase security measures. More than a hundred activists were detained during the actions.

At the competition itself, there was no open hostility towards the representative of Israel, Eden Golan, but some of the participants openly spoke in support of Palestine. Among them was the representative of Ireland Vambie Thug.