Published1 day ago
The hometown of Ukraine’s Eurovision act was hit by Russian missiles moments before the band took to the stage in Liverpool, officials say.
The head of Ternopil regional state administration, Volodymyr Trush, confirmed two people had been injured.
Ternopil mayor Serhiy Nadal said warehouses were damaged.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry accused Russia of attacking Kyiv and Ternopil regions before and during Tvorchi’s Eurovision performance.
Ten minutes before taking to the stage at the Liverpool Arena, Tvorchi posted on Instagram citing reports of Ternopil in western Ukraine being attacked.
After performing, they added: “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, made up of producer Andrii Hutsuliak and Nigeria-born vocalist Jeffery Kenny, hoped to defend the Eurovision title after Kalush Orchestra won last year in Turin.
They performed “Heart of Steel” – a song about troops who led an ultimately unsuccessful resistance against Russian forces at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
Liverpool is hosting the contest on behalf of Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict.
At the end of their performance, Tvorchi held their fists in the air as acts from other nations were also seen waving the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine.
The UK’s ambassador to Ukraine Dame Melinda Simmons described Tvorchi’s Eurovision performance as “poignant”.
Writing on Twitter, she added: “Reminder that the reason why Ukraine could not host this event is because Russia continues to invade and the people of Ukraine live in continuing danger.”
Though Swedish act Loreen took the Eurovision crown after a nail-biting finish, there was praise for Tvorchi from Ternopil’s mayor who thanked the band for supporting the city during their performance.
Posting on Facebook in Ukrainian, Mayor Nadal wrote: “It was at this time that our city was attacked by Russian missiles.
“Thank you, because your speech has become a symbol of not only the unity of the country, but of the whole world.”
He told the BBC the fire at the warehouse in Ternopil had been brought under control.
“Firefighters worked all night and continue to work,” he said, adding that the two people who were wounded suffered minor injuries and were in hospital.
Russia has not yet made any official comment.
Earlier in the day, President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Pope Francis at the Vatican and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome.
He has since flown to Germany, arriving in Berlin just before 01:00 local time.