A few Russian officials have demanded a Ukraine boycott after singer Jamala won Eurovision with her song “1944,” which is about the USSR deportation of the Crimean Tatars.
Well, maybe if Russia did not invade east Ukraine or annex Crimea, people would not hate them so much.
Jamala, a Crimean Tatar, drew inspiration for the song from her great-grandmother. USSR dictator Josef Stalin deported over 200,000 Crimean Tatars to central Asia on suspicion of corroborating with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
The 72nd anniversary of the deportation falls on May 18.
Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev watched Jamala win the contest in person.
— Glasnost Gone (@GlasnostGone) May 15, 2016
— Paula Chertok? (@PaulaChertok) May 14, 2016
Officials went nuts and tried to find any excuse to blame everyone for the loss From The Telegraph:
Russian lawmaker Yelena Drapeko blamed Russia’s loss on the “information war” being waged against the country, a claim that was echoed by Russian television channels.
“Partly, this is a result of the propaganda and information war that is being waged against Russia. We are talking about the general demonization of Russia – about how everything with us is bad, about how our athletes are all doping, our planes are violating airspace – all of this, of course, shows (in Eurovision),” Ms Drapeko said in comments to Russia’s TASS news agency.
Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Dumas Foreign Affairs Committee, lamented that Eurovision had “turned into a field for political battles” on Twitter, a thinly veiled criticism of organizers for allowing Jamala to perform a song with political themes.
Jamala, whose real name is Susana Jamaladynova, told The Guardian her parents and family still live in Crimea. She has not returned home since the Kremlin annexed Crimea in March 2014, which “have added so much sadness” to her. She can only Skype with her 90-year-old grandfather.
Ukraine’s parliament ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22, 2014, after three months of protest in Kyiv’s Independence Square. Crimea, which is home to over 58% ethnic Russians and the Russian Black Fleet, pledged allegiance to Russia and kicked out their Kyiv-appointed officials and elected pro-Russians. In less than a month, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea. However, the West has not recognized the votes or bill.
The invasion immediately sparked fears and bad memories to the Tatars who eventually made it back to the Black Sea peninsula. Russia threw promises at the Tatars, but they quickly broke all of them.
A few days before the finale, Jamala said if she won “it will mean that modern European people are not indifferent, and are ready to hear about the pain of other people and are ready to sympathise.”
Many thought Russian Sergei Lazarev would win the competition. He placed third, but even more surprising are his views on Crimea.
Сергей Лазарев: «Для меня Крым – это Украина. Крым наш – я все это не поддерживаю»
Пропущу Евровидение в этом годуhttps://t.co/GUGBeCosfE
— Дмитрий Смирнов (@dimsmirnov175) May 12, 2016
Translation: “For me, the Crimea – it is Ukraine.”
Two years ago, Lazarev told Ukrainian television that he considers Crimea a part of Ukraine. He also said he “‘won’t take part’ in concerts where Russian performers chant from the stage that Crimea and Russia are one nation.” He even turned down invitations to tour Crimea.
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