Three months to the day before the Eurovision 2017 final and there’s major news coming out of Ukraine. Today the show’s very well-respected Executive Producers Victoria Romanova and Oleksandr Kharebin resigned from their roles. A number of other members of the Eurovision 2017 organising team have also left their positions alongside the two producers — signalling widespread discontent within NTU as the contest draws near.

In a quote from their statement, which you can read in full here, Victoria and Oleksandr reveal that in December 2016 an unnamed individual “took power, appointing a new head of the actual contest in Ukraine, who was given complete control of all aspects of Eurovision in Ukraine.”

It’s rumoured by Ukrainian media that the mystery man is Paul Grytsak, who took over as Deputy Director of Ukrainian broadcaster NTU in mid-December, after Zurab Alasania resigned over budgetary constraints, among other things. This came shortly after Romanova and Kharebin met with Jon Ola Sand and Kyiv was officially confirmed as the host city.

Watch: Victoria Romanova & Oleksandr Kharebin speak about Eurovision in December

No matter who was appointed, Romanova and Kharebin claim that as a result work has been delayed by two months.

Speaking to Strana, one source said that this involves the failure of tender procedures. “In fact, the schedule of tenders and identification of contractors have been practically derailed,” the source said. “It includes works planned on the main venue, Euroclub, PR, TV production, hotel service, catering etc. In general, there is nothing there yet, even the ticket agent was not chosen, the tender has been cancelled.”

Later on in their statement, Romanova and Kharebin cite the “lack of transparency in decision-making” as another factor. This is perhaps linked to the delay in ticket sales, after the initial awarding of the contract was ruled unfair by a Ukrainian court.

Despite attempts to compromise with NTU and the new team in charge, things have clearly broken down and the working team sees no other option but to resign. The now ex-producers paid credit to their team in the statement. It ends: “We are sincerely thankful to the entire team for their many months of work, professionalism and dedication.”

So, where does this leave Ukraine now? Neither NTU nor the EBU are yet to respond to any of the specific claims made by the former executive producers.

However, the EBU did release the following statement, which thanked the outgoing producers.

We have reiterated to UA:PBC the importance of a speedy and efficient implementation of plans already agreed, despite staff changes, and that we stick to the timeline and milestones that have been established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May.

Further information regarding the core team of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be released in due course.

As it stands, the contest is still set to go ahead on time in Kyiv.

Read more Ukraine Eurovision news

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Fermin
3 years ago

Good blog! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

azaad
azaad
3 years ago

The Guardian and The Independent (left leaning major UK newspapers) have reported on this, so this is big news.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

@Chopczlik: Actually, the Eurovision Song Contest itself IS a political statement of peace and diversity through music. Anyone taking part in it in the Ukraine is therefore making a political statement. Whether they wear a t-shirt or not is immaterial (pardon the pun).

Chlopczik
Chlopczik
3 years ago

There’s no incorrect statement made by wheresthelogic. Referendums can be organized even in a week. And How the maidan organized overnight can be more legitimate than a referendum organized in 2 weeks? Agree, this is not a platform for politics. Thank you an esc fan, however I think that would be extremely dangerous to make a political statement in Ukraine.

Mil
Mil
3 years ago

@an esc fan
Where’sthelogic has just retranslated almost all messages from the Russian propaganda. Please answer only one question: Can a referendum for a region where almost 2 mln people live be prepared in less than two weeks? Just a bit of critical thinking is needed. I leave this conversation because this is not the place for such discussions, plus the practice shows that no words can change opinion of those people who watch, listen or read Russian media.

Mil
Mil
3 years ago

@2017sucks
Oh no, she refers to the current government. Ironically, Ukraine’s prime minister, probably the chief of Nazis in her view, is actually Jewish.
Now you got acquainted with the Russian propaganda in action.

an esc fan
an esc fan
3 years ago

@ Where’sthelogic

Thank you for your answer! In that case I wonder what Europe can do to help, is it good for you as citizens to have ESC, or ESC to be a success? Can Europe help you by boycotting ESC? Do you want ESC fans to have a message written on their t-shorts? Do you think that is better for you if EBU will move ESC to another country?

Mil
Mil
3 years ago

Oh, here comes Where’sthelogic, a Russian propaganda addict!

2017sucks
2017sucks
3 years ago

@servina2006, really you are saying that the NAZI PARTY , a party that has been gone for over 70 years is gonna attack a club party in Kyiv in 2017. REALLY. plus the reasons why I said that is because Kyiv is looking quite like 2007 and 2008 terrible.

Mil
Mil
3 years ago

@an esc fan
yes, she was the woman in the floral dress, but I can’t remember her in a video.
NTCU is now undergoing a process of transformation from the state-run channel to the independent public broadcaster. Ukraine is now the different country because it stopped being a morass. It is trying to change to embrace European standards and values. Unfortunately, there are many problems and issues and the process is very slow.

Where'sthelogic
Where'sthelogic
3 years ago

@an esc fan After the revolution of 2014 the government was transmitted in an unconstitutional way to right and ultra-right politicians. As a result Russian-speaking population questioned the legitimacy of the revolution by protesting in Donbass region (Donetsk and Luhansk), Crimea and Odessa. When nationalistic troops were sent to Donbass to fight the protesters, Crimeans decided to leave Ukraine by voting at a referendum and rejoin Russia. Clashes between nationalistic troops and the population of Donbass grew into war. While protesters in Odessa (51 of them) were killed by the new government. Now Ukraine is governed by oligarchs who have… Read more »

Krzysztof
Krzysztof
3 years ago

Wow… I’m so glad I will be far away during the Eurovision week, neither watching any part broadcast live nor voting this year. While I was disappointed that televoters didn’t vote Dami Im higher after being much excited with the jury votes, now I can only thank them (those Europeans who didn’t vote 13, but voted others), as this way I can visit Australia for the first time and enjoy 6 hours of Dami singing live. ???? For those, as Denis wrote “butt hurt fans” of Dami Im who still haven’t got over that she didn’t win, there are still… Read more »

an esc fan
an esc fan
3 years ago

Is Victoria Romanova the same person with the floral dress that was in the green room in Stockholm with Jamala? And I guess she also appears in the 1944 video released in september 2016.
Sorry for my ignorance but what war is happening now in Ukraine, and why is not the same country that we know?
I guess is the most ignorant question ever, but anyway.

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago

Ah I forgot about ruptly bots coming here. We need another guy that was ready to kill someone 🙂

Mil
Mil
3 years ago

Wiwiblogs, Why haven’t you written in your article that the very same person, Pavlo Hrytsak, who was in charge of 2005 contest and Junior Eurovision 2013 is going to be in charge of Eurovision 2017? As far as I remember, William and Deban enjoyed those contests and said everything was organized in the best way possible.

Severina2006
Severina2006
3 years ago

@2017sucks Euroclub won’t be open for fans because some Nazis with grenades can visit the event.

Severina2006
Severina2006
3 years ago

@an esc fan Ukraine was chosen as UEFA 2012 host before 2014. Ukraine before 2014 and after 2014 are completely different countries. Now it is not even a country, but a terrorist organization.

an esc fan
an esc fan
3 years ago

I know football’s Euro is in each 4 years, so it was not possible to win ”like Jamala in the previous year” ha ha ha

an esc fan
an esc fan
3 years ago

I’m by Ukraine’s side, it can host and it was chosen before to host bigger events like football Euro 2012 (together with Poland), and it was CHOSEN, did not won like Jamala in the previous year. So relax, if Ukraine could host a football championship with many teams, it means that ESC is a piece of cake.

2017sucks
2017sucks
3 years ago

2017 IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE , A : IT’S FEBRUARY AND THEY HAVEN’T EVEN REVEALED THE PRESENTERS FOR THE CONTEST YET!
B:BOTH PRODUCERS HAVE RESIGNED C:THE STAGE LOOKS UGLY
D:QUITE UGLY LOGO E: THEY AREN’T GOING TO GIVE SPECIAL PACKAGES FOR OGAE MEMBERS AND THE EUROCLUB WON’T EVEN BE OPEN FOR FANS AND IT’S NOT EVEN GONNA BE EUROVISION THEMED.
2017 JUST IS NOT GONNA HAPPEN AND IF IT DOES I’M NOT WATCHING.

LULU
3 years ago

If this goes pear shape this could cost jan ola sand his job ,
And rightly so , he has let if joke of a so called organisation go on to far .
He will be the next person to step down mark my WORDS if every thing goes TITS UP

Stephen Podesta
Stephen Podesta
3 years ago

Give it to the rightful winners Australia we were robbed in 2016.
Cheaters never win and 1944 should never of won the comp.
Political and released 1 year before Eurovision.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
3 years ago

This is really embarrassing for the host country

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Agree with Jonas! The tradition of letting the winner host is a great one that hasn’t been broken since 1980. It’s part of what makes ESC ESC, that the winner gets the honour of hosting. Getting rid of that tradition would kill the contest more than all the “new” rules fans hate. Just look to what the rule does with the slowly dying JESC.. Most of those who want to disqualify Ukraine are butt hurt fans who still haven’t got over the fact that their precious divas Sergey or Dami Im didn’t win, and now jump on every opportunity they… Read more »

ESC OMG
ESC OMG
3 years ago

i think maybe germany could host becsuse Both Stage design company and Lighting designe team are German. ;p

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago

artsvik4ever: “There is not a rule such as u told about”

That’s right! 😀 I was wondering if the EBU would introduce such a rule in the future to avoid ESC being hosted by countries that aren’t able to host it properly.

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago

I disgree with YAAAAAAAS and Tomas Patrick Davitt.

The winner hosting the next year is a great tradition, one that hasn’t been broken for the last 37 years. I don’t want to see it go. It’s a large part of my opposition to Australia’s participation. It’s part of what makes the contest what it is.

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
3 years ago

I started booking hotels in various big 5 cities yet.

It’s probably not gonna happen in Kyiv anymore … or not in May.

James
James
3 years ago

The winning country has first right of refusal. If they can’t, any other country will bid to host the contest in their place.

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

Seriously who’s gonna buy tickets now? I wouldn’t as it is highly probably Ukraine won’t host the show..but even if they host it, it is gonna be awful. i suspect nothing is ready and the clock is ticking already… 3 months to go!! so much corruption, no surrpise though this is Ukraine we’re talking about. I assume EBU has contacted BIG 5 countries like Germany and UK or even Russia as well to be ready if needed to host the show. This is the first time i remember such thing is happening 3 months before the actual show (and a… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

Well we could always go to Barcelona… (*hides from angry Spanish fans*) 😛

artsvik4ever
artsvik4ever
3 years ago

@Robyn Gallagher
There is not a rule such as u told about

Tomas Patrick Davitt
Tomas Patrick Davitt
3 years ago

100% Agree about the hosting rules for the future. I know its a tradition but it clearly just doesn’t work – the host needs to be chosen based on suitability and not just because they won last year.

I feel for Jan Ola, he must be going crazy with stress. He is awesome though so I think he will pull this one out of the bag!

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago

BTW, SVT should hold on the Melfest stage and make sure the Scandinavium isn’t booked out in May.

YAAAAAS
YAAAAAS
3 years ago

@Robyn Gallagher
I hope they do!

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
3 years ago

I wonder if ESC will now introduce JESC-like rules for determining the host country in future. That is, the winner wouldn’t automatically get to host and would need to prove they can host properly.

Russiaforever
Russiaforever
3 years ago

EBU last year want so hard to won Australia or Ukraine a not Russia. They got Ukraine and headache of their organisation of Eurovision 2017.

Daan
Daan
3 years ago

Hahaha, Well this was to be expected huh. Gotta love how a propoganda song won and they can’t even be bothered to do a proper job hosting. The fact that the fan tickets aren’t even out yet is even more disturbing. Ukraine should be ashamed of themselves. Russia or Australia should have won. I bet Moscow or St Petersburg would have their business done by now already and at least try to host and be open for everyone. Thanks Jamala, thanks Ukraine, for stealing a victory. 🙂

Nika
Nika
3 years ago

Will someone have the courage now to say that Russia must have won?

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Does that mean Viktoria can finally go to sleep? She always looks so exhausted, like she hasn’t slept in months.. Isn’t scandals like this common in ESC world? There is always drama surrounding it. Honestly, an ESC without any scandal would be a shock! In the end everything will be OK and Ukraine will pull it through. And there isn’t an official rule saying the winner must host it. EBU invites the winning broadcaster the opportunity to host but nothing say they must or are obliged to host it. They can decline and then EBU invites the runner up and… Read more »

Maxime from France
3 years ago

As this announcement has been anounced before tickets go on sale, I think Eurovision will still takes place in Ukraine

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago

Something is telling me I won’t be able to see that ridiculous stage 🙂
I mean, yes, we see that the man who was anticrisis 2005 show runner has returned, the money are still ‘on the table’ but 2 months thrown away is an Alasania incident which is unacceptable at this late time. If they can’t do this transparently they should do it directly (and mock themselves to forever), if they need to reinvent their public tv, they should avoid this risky season. It’s just horrid if not disgusting.

YAAAAAS
YAAAAAS
3 years ago

Australia should’ve won, they have the money and support to host a big event like this, I bet it would’ve been in the UK. If Australia won and hosted in the UK it could maybe have been a better ESC than 2014 and 2016, but this is shaping up to be the worst one yet, ugly stage, ugly logo, terrible management, terrible conditions. Ukraine is a corrupt place.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 years ago

If the top management have all resigned, why announce ticket sales? Am I missing something?

Jonas
Jonas
3 years ago

Worrying. I really hope EBU have a plan B. Anybody booking tickets or flights should really be taking out insurance too, just a word of advice. 🙁

Still, I’m sure everything will come together in the end even if it’s not perfect.

Racal
Racal
3 years ago

@Leo Valdez: It’s not really a rule, it’s more of a tradition. The winning country is only invited to host, nowhere is it stated that they “should”.

AndersP
AndersP
3 years ago

Somebody call Sweden! I bet they could pull a Eurovision out of the bag in 70 days!

Leo Valdez
Leo Valdez
3 years ago

As I have told you before EBU should change the hosting rule!
There is no need that last year’s winner should host the next year!
Do it like Fifa or any other sport organizations!
Invite countries to submit bids and choose the best option!

Thomas
Thomas
3 years ago

I was trying so hard to stay positive. But damn is it getting hard.

fikri
fikri
3 years ago

at the rate people are resigning we will probably be left with like a single cameraman and host during the show…