Guy Freeman: Our Friend in Kiev

The daily commute from hotel to venue offered us tantalising glimpses of an ancient Slavic city far bigger than I had imagined it would be. Golden onion domes, flowering chestnut trees and bustling streets framed by classical, Soviet-era and modern buildings.

Our UK delegation coach often drove past the giant metal arch adorned with this year’s Eurovision Song Contest slogan, “Celebrate diversity”, where the job of painting it in the rainbow colours of the LGBT flag had been abandoned halfway through following some resistance.