Ukraine Eurovision act’s home city of Ternopil hit by Russian missiles before performance

Tvorchi (Getty Images)
Tvorchi (Getty Images)

The home city of Ukraine’s Eurovision entry came under fire from Russian missiles as the duo prepared to take to the stage in Liverpool on Saturday evening.

Ternopil, the home of Tvorchi was one of the cities targeted by the Russian military in a further sign of the danger the people of Ukraine live in, Dame Melinda Simmons said.

Officials said missiles hit the western city, several hundred miles from the front lines of the Russian invasion, damaging buildings and injuring two civilians.

Ms Simmons praised the duo, tweeting: “Tvorchi (definitely) win the prize for graphics. The staging was brilliant.

“And poignant as their university home town of Ternopil was targeted by (Russian) missiles this eve.”

In the end the Ukrainian entry came sixth, thanks to a huge public vote, with Swedish singer Loreen taking the title and the UK’s Mae Muller coming 25th out of 26 nations, above only Germany.

After performing, Ukraine’s duo said: “Ternopil is the name of our hometown, which was bombed by Russia while we sang on the Eurovision stage about our steel hearts, indomitability and will.

“This is a message for all cities of Ukraine that are shelled every day. Kharkiv, Dnipro, Khmelnytsky, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Uman, Sumy, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Kherson and all others.

“Europe, unite against evil for the sake of peace!”

Tvorchi’s Eurovision song was inspired by soldiers who defended Mariupol as it was laid under siege, they said.

Jeffrey Kenny and Andrew Hutsuliak said Heart of Steel honoured those trapped at the Azovstal steel plant during bombardments.

The duo were raising money for neo-natal wards in Ukraine to cope with an upsurge in premature births as a result of Russia’s invasion.

It came after the Princess of Wales played the piano as part of Eurovision’s glittering opening film sequence in an outfit to honour Ukraine and earrings given to her by the late Queen.

Kate, 41, made the unexpected appearance after recording the instrumental created by musicians Joe Price and Kojo Samuel at Windsor Castle earlier this month in a BBC production.

The royal wore a Ukraine-blue Jenny Packham dress and jewellery which had belonged to Elizabeth II.

The film also featured Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra playing last year’s winning song in a Kyiv metro station. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, last year’s UK runner-up Sam Ryder and Joss Stone contributed too.

Earlier in the day, Volodymyr Zelensky held talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican where the two men spoke about Ukraine’s “humanitarian and political situation provoked by the war going on”.