They’re the Latvian group who are encouraging Eurovision fans to eat their veggies. But now Citi Zēni has a much more serious message. The group have sent an email to the European Broadcasting Union, urging they reconsider the participation of Russia in Eurovision 2022.

Citi Zēni shared their message on Twitter, with a screenshot of an email, apparently sent to the EBU. The screenshot was accompanied by the tweet: “We love all artists. We love all people. We are united. @Eurovision should take action. We urge other delegations & artists to do the same. #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦”.

In the email to the EBU, Citi Zēni wrote:

STATEMENT
To whom it may concern

Dear EBU team,

“The sound of beauty” cannot become the “sound of war”.

The current aggression & external politics conducted by the government of the Russian Federation are not acceptable to us. We stand united with the people of Ukraine and are strongly opposing the human suffering currently occurring.

“Citi Zēni” as the winners of the Latvian national selection & the Latvian representatives for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest are requesting you to reconsider the participation of the delegation of the Russian Federation in the upcoming event in May.

We believe that Eurovision is about peace, entertainment and love. It is completely in opposition with the politics currently conducted by the governing bodies of the Russian Federation. In our opinion it is not correct to be sending an artist to one EBU country, while an army is being deployed to another.

Sincerely hoping for action on the matter,
Citi Zēni
Representatives of Latvia in the 66th Eurovision song contest

Lithuania’s Monika Liu supports Ukraine

Citi Zēni aren’t the only Eurovision 2022 act to speak out. Also from the Baltic region, Lithuania’s Monika Liu shared a post to her Instagram stories.

She wrote, “Such a sad day. Russia has started the full-scale war against Ukraine. Ukraine will defend itself and win. The world can and had to stop putin. Right now is the time to act. #StandWithUkraine🇺🇦”

Monika posted a second post to her Instagram stories simply with the text “Madman Psycho”, written in black text on a dark grey background.

Earlier today, other Ukraine and Russian past Eurovision acts responded to news of the Russian invasion.

The head of Sweden’s national broadcaster SVT has also called for Russia to be excluded from Eurovision 2022.

So far, the EBU has only said that both Russia and Ukraine are still welcome to participate in Eurovision 2022, a “non-political cultural event which unites nations and celebrates diversity through music.”

However, the EBU also said they will “continue to monitor the situation closely.”

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The truth
The truth
9 months ago

Those who usually say politics should not come into such competitions like the proverbial lice are now coming out of the woodwork. What a lot of hypocritical bs! And this is just because it concerns Russia – the country which is most hated out of all other European countries and it has always historically been like that even before the Russian Revolution. What many are not mentioning is that there is a sizeable Ukrainian minority which wants to separate from the rest of the Ukraine and want to join Russia and this is one of the main reasons behind the… Read more »

Mendi
Mendi
9 months ago
Reply to  The truth

I do not consider Decision political, it was plea for peace and humanity which clearly isn’t the case in Russian Federation since yesterday. You can’t separate ‘politics’ when innocent people are being killed on their own soil for the pleasure of one mad man who basically says ‘I will wipe you all of if you will resist…I have n u k e s!!!’ And then imagine if their song won…seriously…. And you really need to educate yourself more. Mr Kremlin did not want Ukraine to join NATO as it would be too dangerous for him and military power would sway… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Mendi
The truth
The truth
9 months ago
Reply to  Mendi

Well I think all decisions are finally political. If you think I agree with Russia’s actions you are very wrong. I disagree with any kind of military action by a country over another country. What I wanted to point out is Europe’s and the EBU’s hypocrisy, double standards and complete bias. I agree with Russia being banned for its actions against Ukraine. But if Russia should be banned so should a number of other countries. Israel has been committing crimes against humanity, oppression, illegal occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people not for a year or two but for long… Read more »

Meckie
Meckie
9 months ago

UK was in war mode 2003, Azerbaijan and Armenia have war, still both participate. Sorry, but why double standards? Not Russia started the war, it was Putin who started the war! Why punish Russian people, artists for something their political leader did? Excluding Russia from Eurovision does not stop this war! If Russia would send a pure propaganda song, then EBU could exclude Russia like they did with Belarus.

Mariia
9 months ago
Reply to  Meckie

Putin is russian president!!! All russians ARE to blame for this!!

Nadia
Nadia
9 months ago

No matter what act Russia brings it’s going to look insensitive and fake, and it’s going to be awkward at best, cause serious conflict at worst. There’s nothing to win for them and I thought the current state does not allign with the west or ESC’s values, so the logical thing would be for Russia to withdraw… Sadly that implies admittig their state did something wrong and “giving up”, so it’s likely they won’t unless somebody or something else pushes them to or bans them. We must take action. Good to see Citi Z?ni speaking up and hopefully more participants soon.

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 months ago

I spoke yesterday with a colleague who has Russian roots. She told me how ashamed she feels, she’s embarrassed to be (half) Russian. At one point she even used the word fratricide, then you become quiet for awhile. She said this is not what the majority of the Russians want, this is something what only Putin wants, hoping to boost his popularity. I hope the EBU makes the right discision

Last edited 9 months ago by Stephanie
ete sech
ete sech
9 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

I have a Russian friend feeling the same and she told me his popularity will only plummet because nobody but him wanted the war 🙁

M B
M B
9 months ago

Support Ukraine and sign the petition to ban Russia from ESC 2022 https://chng.it/vcGdm4GtCD

Clara
Clara
9 months ago

I think if EBU doesn’t ban Russia, at some point we as viewers, no matter how much we love the ESC, have to make the decision to boycott and not to watch. Artists should consider if they want to take part alongside Russia. This way EBU would understand.

Jakub
Jakub
9 months ago

Corrupted EBU will not ban Russia due to fear of losing money and viewers. So sad but true.
Hope other competitors will speak out as well! We should be united in stopping Russia!

Xxx
Xxx
9 months ago

Maybe EBU would change their mind if Russians bombed Berlin or Geneva. Just a thought.

Nils
Nils
9 months ago
Reply to  Xxx

I’m pretty sure they would. And this double standard is a disgrace.

Safiya
Safiya
9 months ago

Imagine people literally dying and EBU telling you that it’s politcs and we should look beyond that

Ukraine stan
Ukraine stan
9 months ago

I just want to urge y’all, don’t be angry torwards the Russian representative if there is one. This is Putin’s war, not the Russian people’s war. Don’t boo their performance, cause most likely, the people responsible for this tragedy aren’t the ones singing, staging, or songwriting.

Oy oy
Oy oy
9 months ago
Reply to  Ukraine stan

When you stand on the Eurovision-stage you proudly represent your country. If you have a slightest touch of moral you don’t go on stage representing a country who recently has violently invaded a neighbouring country. And if you do, you don’t show the victims of the war your country has just started any resepect. And you can’t expect any respect standing on that Eurovision-stage, either.

Mendi
Mendi
9 months ago
Reply to  Oy oy

Spot on!

Clara
Clara
9 months ago
Reply to  Ukraine stan

I’m the one who in a previous article commented a similar thing. But that was before all out war was declared. Right now, if Russians really are against the war, they should make themselves heard. Otherwise they’re just as guilty as their crazy *ss president.

NickC
NickC
9 months ago

EBU is in the wrong side of history. I am so disappointed, honestly. This is not avout politics, this is about humanity and its core values.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
9 months ago

What is happening in Ukraine is horrible, but I do not support meddling of politics in Eurovision. Russia should be allowed to participate in Eurovision as well as Ukraine. Greetings from Serbia

Tzs
Tzs
9 months ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

So then Kosovo is welcome too …

Knut Olav Halseth
Knut Olav Halseth
9 months ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

But if artists and countries pull out of Eurovision because Russia are allowed to take part, what would you say then?

zoe
zoe
9 months ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

Kosovo 2023, how lovely for you to support!!

Mendi
Mendi
9 months ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

Well, then Russia most likely would have to compete against themselves as everyone else would withdraw.

Last edited 9 months ago by Mendi
Pancake
Pancake
9 months ago

I don’t like their song but this band deserved praise for speaking their mind. Eurovision is supposed to unite a continent, not tear it apart.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
9 months ago

They should be banned, but they probably won’t be. What annoys me the most is how countries like Italy and Germany are against putting proper economic sanctions on Russia. Too bad how Europe hasn’t become independent of Russia regarding gas supply and now we see country in Europe being fully taken over and others are silent just because they depend on Russia.

Shuma
Shuma
9 months ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

Germany will never change, it’s still the same country, just now with a shinier, friendlier façade.

But deep down it still loves a so called strong man who can walk all over Europe and can look the other way as that so called strong man commits unspeakable atrocities.

Let’s not forget how they treated Greece in the financial crisis, the evil is always there waiting to burst out.

Jonas
Jonas
9 months ago
Reply to  Shuma

Germany took in Syrian refugees, fifty times more than most other countries. I think that’s a big change from other parts of their history. Say what you want about governments, but don’t talk as if all Germans are just born evil. That sounds like something Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump might say.

Clara
Clara
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

.

Last edited 9 months ago by Clara
Denis
Denis
9 months ago

If more delegations, artists and broadcasters EBU will have no choice but to ban Russia. That’s how they banned Belarus, after pressure became to high. Sort of saving face situation..
Let’s hope the big 5 can somehow influence..

Dawid
Dawid
9 months ago
Reply to  Denis

I don’t think there’s any face to save by now

Denis
Denis
9 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

Well there still is time to do something..

JVHJ
JVHJ
9 months ago

The Russian armed forces are preparing a large-scale bombing operation in the capital of Ukraine – Kiev. STOP PUTIN!! STOP 3WW!!

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

See, if actual 2022 acts are taking a stand against a country that will ostensibly be participating as well, that’s gotta be setting off alarm bells at the EBU. If the acts aren’t sitting idly by, neither should the EBU. Eject Russia from the contest.

Shuma
Shuma
9 months ago

Russia has gone far beyond what Belarus did so if the EBU can rightly ban Belarus, they can certainly ban Russia too.

Not forgetting they banned Serbia for 11 years from 1993 to 2003

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
9 months ago
Reply to  Shuma

Well, Serbia (Or more accurately at the time Serbia and Montenegro which was originally the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) Was sanctioned by the UN for war crimes in the Yugoslav wars, so it was barred from participating in any international events like the Olympics and Eurovision anyway. Then they were expelled by the EBU.

Last edited 9 months ago by BadWoolfGirl
Roo
Roo
9 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I thought the main reason the “Yugoslavia” was expelled was as the then broadcaster ceased to exist. Then came the sanctions. Yugoslavia still participated in 1992 even though things were falling down around them.

Chessguy99
9 months ago
Reply to  Roo

That Yugoslavia was the republic formed by Serbia and Montenegro. It lasted until 2003 and was the country that was sanctioned starting later in 1992.

Shanfa Chai
Shanfa Chai
9 months ago

Hopefully, Russia’s broadcaster has a bit of a shame by withdrawing from Eurovision 2022 on their own terms, so we won’t have to see a bunch of countries boycotting this year’s Eurovision.

I just couldn’t imagine Russia’s participation at this point. The artist representing Russia would suffer from discomforts and humiliations.

Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Shanfa Chai

I mean, Russia’s been politically condemned by all of the Big Five and Australia, the EBU’s biggest financial contributors and hosts of two of the next major EBU events (Eurovision in Italy and, even if it isn’t on quite the same scale, Eurovision Young Musicians in France). If any of their acts refused to go on if they were competing against Russia, the broadcasters would probably have their back, and that would put the EBU in a dire situation. Heck, getting shamed by the head of SVT should be concerning to them, considering how major a presence Sweden is at… Read more »

RJonuss
RJonuss
9 months ago

This is it every single person must be united in Europe – If barbarian Rusians see we are weak – they move forward!
We must be united and show we are stronger then ever we was!
No canceled Eurovision – just opposite show them we are united!
We are Democratic people – no way Russia word can be displayed in Europe audience!
United we can end this!

Onar
Onar
9 months ago

I’d like to ask some of the people here who request from EBU to “do what’s right”, were they requesting the same thing for Azerbaijan? Where were they when Azerbaijan attacked Armenia? Were they asking EBU to ban Azerbaijan from Eurovision or were they dancing to Mamamamatahari? I’m sensing double standards here, we should always ask from EBU to “do what’s right” and not when it suits us.

Regardless of this rant, all my prayers are for the Ukrainian people, hoping that this madness will end soon.

Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Onar

Frankly, I also think Azerbaijan should be sanctioned by the EBU, but I’m not holding my breath until they really grow a pair.

Onar
Onar
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s the thing, EBU won’t do anything, they never do. Did they ban Russia in 2014?

I think Russia should just withdraw at this point if not for the decency of the matter to at least protect their artists.

dygh
dygh
9 months ago
Reply to  Onar

I think alot of people do want action against EBU members influenced by those few in power.
Every public broadcaster that serve those few in power instead of their tax payers shouldn’t be able to represent the country. They don’t participate for the people, but in the name of the regime.

Last edited 9 months ago by dygh
Tzs
Tzs
9 months ago
Reply to  Onar

C’mon Russia and Azer buying votes and gives money to EBU to doing bad stuff …

Jonas
Jonas
9 months ago
Reply to  Onar

I have always complained about Azerbaijan being in the contest, and I’m not the only one.

esc_fl
esc_fl
9 months ago
Reply to  Onar

Personally I wasn’t in favor of Azerbaijan in the contest (also cause Mata Hari was a cookie cutter version of Cleopatra). I know there were a few petitions going around calling for Azerbaijan’s dismissal, and again after the reporters talked over Malena’s song in JESC, but nothing at the level we’re seeing now.

Dawid
Dawid
9 months ago
Reply to  Onar

Oh I signed petition to ban Efendi. And I think her song was weak af

Biscotto7
Biscotto7
9 months ago

there was an article on Russia being able to participate on bbc news!

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
9 months ago

Considering that Latvia and Lithuania both know what it’s like to be invaded by Russia in the past, I Don’t blame them. I think there will be more statements from other broadcasters and artists soon because this is only day one.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
9 months ago

Personally, I think that both Russia AND Ukraine BOTH should be banned as they both drag each other into this conflict. Hopefully you guys won’t bash me and will truely ‘love all people’ like these guys claim to. I compare it to the Armenia Azerbaijan drama or the Israel Palestine thing. The EBU and some people have had too much bias on one country. If not, allow BOTH to participate. From what I’ve seen the Russian broadcaster and people don’t agree with this ‘war’.

Denis
Denis
9 months ago

Drag each other into the conflict? How?
The Russian broadcaster is close to the government so they most likely “agree”. Bias on one country? Well, who started the war to begin with? And blamed it on some shoddy reason to help Russian minorities or whatever?
In war there is no being baised. You are either with those who start it or those who fight it..

Eli
Eli
9 months ago

Dude stfu seriously you are embarrassing yourself…

Anhel
Anhel
9 months ago

What an ironic nickname you’ve chosen

John Welsh
John Welsh
9 months ago

Well done

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
9 months ago

Thank you to the artists for taking a stand! As a contest aimed at creating peace in Europe, this recent developments show the contest has utterly failed in its mission. Continuing with the status quo is not possible… I hope the EBU will have it in their hearts to drastic action soon.

JSU12
JSU12
9 months ago

LATVIA, thank you. EBU, do what it is right, not what is “fair.” They are not always the same thing.

BetwixtTales
BetwixtTales
9 months ago

Good on the Lithuanian participants for speaking up. More people directly involved with the contest – and direct contact with EBU – need to speak up.

Samhairle
Samhairle
9 months ago
Reply to  BetwixtTales

latvian*

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
9 months ago
Reply to  Samhairle

To be fair, Lithuania’s entrant Monika Liu has also spoken up and is quoted in this article too.

BetwixtTales
BetwixtTales
9 months ago
Reply to  Samhairle

Oh! My bad. I will correct.

BetwixtTales
BetwixtTales
9 months ago
Reply to  BetwixtTales

Hmm, apparently I can’t. Darn it.