Ukrainian hometown, Eurovision Song Contest act attacked during performance

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Russian missiles rained down on the hometown of Ukrainian electro-pop duo Tvorchi while they were performing in the Eurovision Song Contest, officials in kyiv said on Saturday night.

After the couple took the stage in the northern English city of Liverpool, Ternopil, a small town in western Ukraine, came under fire, Andriy Yermak, President Voldymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, said in a publication by Telegram.

“It happened just when the Ukrainian band Tvorchi from Ternopil was performing at the Eurovision final,” he said, adding that two people were injured.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said two people were injured in the «missile attack», in a separate post on its Telegram channel. He said preliminary information suggested the couple had suffered «shrapnel injuries and burns».

According to the publication, «fragments of a cruise missile hit the warehouses, causing a fire.»

In a later statement, Ukraine’s air force said on Sunday that three cruise missiles and 25 UAVs had been destroyed in the attack.

NBC News was unable to independently verify these claims.

Following his performance at the Liverpool event, which stepped in to host the event after organizers decided Kiev was not safe enough, Tvorchi addressed the attack in a post on his Instagram channel.

“Ternopil is the name of our hometown, which was bombed by Russia while we sang on the Eurovision stage about our hearts of steel, indomitability and will,” they wrote, adding that the post was dedicated to “all the cities in Ukraine that they are bombed every day.” day.

The sights and sounds of Ukraine were present throughout the show, beginning with an opening film showing Eurovision 2022 winners, the Kalush Orchestra, singing and dancing in the Kiev metro, to the tune performed by musicians from the UK. Kingdom, including Catherine, Princess of Wales, who was shown playing the piano.

Tvorchi eventually placed sixth in the competition, which was won by Swedish singer Loreen, who performed her song «Tattoo». She became the first female singer to win the competition twice.

Russia’s Defense Ministry later confirmed that it had attacked Ternopil in a statement posted on its Telegram channel on Sunday, saying it «carried out an attack with high-precision and long-range air- and sea-based weapons.» He added that he had targeted places that stored «ammunition, weapons and military equipment received from Western countries.»

The attack came after Zelenskyy traveled to Rome, where he met with Pope Francis and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Then on Sunday he traveled to Berlin to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

There, he thanked Germany for its announcement on Saturday that it would provide military aid to Ukraine, including tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition, worth nearly $3 billion.

“You can trust Germany,” he wrote on Twitter. “Together we bring peace closer!”

Inside Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Ukrainian forces made «massive attempts» to breach its defenses in the key eastern city of Bakhmut over the past 24 hours as pressure on its troops increased.

He said Ukraine had launched attacks to the north and south of the city, but had not broken through Russian defences. “All attacks by units of the Ukrainian armed forces have been repelled,” she said.

NBC News was unable to verify this claim.

It raised new questions about the Kremlin’s hopes of a symbolic victory in the city and fueled broader fears among Russian observers about the positions of the military on the front lines of the war.

For months, Russia anticipated the arrival of a Ukrainian spring counteroffensive that is expected to target occupied land across the country. Moscow’s own winter offensive ended with public infighting as it suffered heavy battlefield losses, with more than 100,000 fighters from Kremlin forces killed or wounded since December alone, according to US estimates.

Associated Press contributed.

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