Eurovision: Russia banned from competing at 2022 Song Contest

The EBU, which produces the event, said Russia's inclusion could bring the competition into disrepute "in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine".

Russia launched an attack on its neighbour Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.

Western governments have ramped up international sanctions in response.

Countries' protests

Last week, the contest had said Russia would be allowed to compete, so this is a rapid change in stance for the EBU.

Refugees rush to borders to flee Russia's war

Tens of thousands of people have already crossed into five countries bordering western Ukraine.

Poland alone has reported more than 50,000 arrivals in two days, while thousands more have streamed further south into Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

Most of those fleeing the invasion are women and children, as all men aged 18 to 60 are being told to stay and fight. BBC correspondents met them at the borders.


Russian forces tighten hold on Kyiv in attempt to topple government

Almost exactly 30 years after the devastating siege of Sarajevo, another major European capital came under heavy bombardment with shells hitting apartment blocks, driving up the civilian death toll.

After the second day of the invasion, it was clear that it was being fiercely resisted, but also that Russia had much more military might yet to be unleashed on its neighbour.

Ukraine conflict: Shock and support on the streets of Moscow

But there is division over whether President Putin's actions are to be condemned or applauded, BBC Russian reporters discover.

When two young well-dressed men stop to chat to the BBC, one of them appears fairly relaxed about the invasion of Ukraine.

"Yes, we heard something but haven't had a chance to understand what's going on," he says.

But he is soon interrupted by his friend, swearing as he does so.

"We are shocked," he says. "We have never seen war in our lifetime and we are about to see one."

A man in a bright blue coat looks miserable.

Russia invades Ukraine in Europe’s darkest hours since WW2

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his aim is to demilitarise and 'denazify' Ukraine.

Missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities and explosions were heard near the capital Kyiv. Ukraine's military said it destroyed four Russian tanks near the eastern city of Kharkiv, killed 50 troops in the Luhansk region and downed a sixth Russian aircraft.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged all citizens prepared to defend the country to come forward, saying Kyiv would issue weapons to everyone who wants them.

Ukraine-Russia invasion: Europe prepares for wave of refugees

As Russian air strikes hit overnight, many packed up and left Kyiv for the countryside or the border with the European Union.

Traffic jams clogged the roads out of some cities, and some walked on foot into Poland and Hungary.

The UN refugee chief warned that the humanitarian impact will be "devastating".

"We are particularly worried about displacement - about people on the move," Filippo Grandi told the BBC's Lyse Doucet, who is in Kyiv.

Russia to carry out 'special military operation' in south-eastern Ukraine - Putin

Explosions have already been heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv and in the Belgorod province of Russia.

Explosions also rocked the breakaway eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and civilian aircraft were warned away as the United States said a major attack by Russia was imminent.

Putin made the declaration in a televised speech at the same time as the UN Security Council was imploring him to stop.

Putin says Russia does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territory.

He called on Ukrainian soldiers to immediately lay down their weapons and go home.

Russia recognises Ukraine separatist regions

The self-declared people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk are home to Russia-backed rebels who have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.

Russia's move is likely to end peace talks in the region, which has been under a tenuous ceasefire for years.

Western powers also fear it could pave the way for Russian military forces to enter Ukraine's eastern regions.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be "a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine" and break international law. He said it was "a very ill omen and a very dark sign".

Biden agrees in principle to summit with Putin over Ukraine tensions

The talks proposed by France will only take place if Russia does not invade its neighbour, the White House said.

The meeting could offer a possible diplomatic solution to one of the worst security crises in Europe in decades.

US officials say intelligence suggests Russia is ready to launch a military operation, which Moscow denies.

The proposal was announced by the French presidency after two phone calls between President Emmanuel Macron and Mr Putin, which went on for almost three hours in total.

Ukraine seeks meeting with Russia within 48 hours to discuss build-up

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had ignored formal requests to explain the build-up of troops.

He said the "next step" was requesting a meeting within the next 48 hours for "transparency" about Russia's plans.

Russia has denied any plans to invade Ukraine despite the build-up of some 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine's borders.