Ukrainian singer Alyona Alyona said Kyiv’s delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 was fined for wearing T-shirts bearing the inscription “Free Azovstal Defenders,” which they wore to show solidarity with those members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces held as prisoners of war, particularly those from the Azov brigade who had defended Mariupol following the Russian invasion.

According to the singer, the competition rules said that any political inscriptions and brands were prohibited, the guards checked everyone’s clothes as they entered the venue and, if there was an inscription on it, asked to remove it or cover the inscriptions with black tape.

“We knew that when they would show replays of all the artists' performances, they would also show the delegation itself. So, when the camera came up to us, our team quickly opened up and showed our appeal to the whole world. We took a big risk, but it worked out. We just got off with a financial penalty,” Alyona Alyona wrote on X / Twitter

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According to the singer, the Ukrainian team put the T-shirts on, under their other clothing, before entering the hall and were thus able to go into the green room wearing them.

Last weekend Ukraine’s duo of Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil, performed the song “Teresa & Maria,” which clinched third place with 453 points.

Ukraine’s consistent success in recent years includes a 5th place finish for Go_A in 2021, victory for Kalush Orchestra in 2022, and a 6th place for the TVORCHI duo in 2023.

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 took place in Malmö, Sweden, from May 5. The first and second semi-finals were held on May 7 and 9, respectively, with the grand final airing on May 11.

Representing Ukraine, Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil made a striking entrance on the Turquoise Carpet. Their outfits, adorned with keys, symbolized homes lost due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The artists announced their plans to raise funds for the reconstruction of a war-affected gymnasium in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

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