Russian Politicians Brand Ukraine's Eurovision Entry 'Politicized'
Crimean Tatar singer Susana Jamaladinova, known as Jamala, performs during the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest outside Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 21, 2016.
Ukraine's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest will perform a song dedicated to the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, a move branded “politicized” by some Russian politicians, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Jamal, a Crimean tartar herself, was selected on Sunday to perform at the finals in Stockholm. Her song “1944” is about the forced migration of hundreds of thousands of people from her Black Sea homeland under Stalin’s rule.
In response to her selection, first deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on Information Policy Vadim Dengin has said he hopes Eurovision will not allow Jamal to compete with the song, which could add a political edge to the May competition.
"A strange choice. I'm sure it is there to once again humiliate Russia. I hope that those in charge of Eurovision do not allow such things on the grounds of their competition," Dengin said to RIA Novosti.
He also claimed that the majority of Ukrainian citizens do not receive enough “salary or pension” and so cannot “afford to watch” and “do not care” about the Eurovision Song Contest.
Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014.