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Backlash after Conchita Wurst thanks Russian-speaking fans with Russian Facebook post

Backlash after Conchita Wurst thanks Russian-speaking fans with Russian Facebook post
Conchita Wurst

11 May 2015

Last year’s Eurovision song contest winner, Austrian transvestite Conchita Wurst, is facing a backlash after posting a Facebook message in Russian last weekend thanking her Russian-speaking fans for their support. St Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov, known for his homophobic remarks, compared the post to a scenario in which occupying German forces give the Soviet people a flyer thanking them for their supposed support of the Wehrmacht troops in the fight “against the communists and Europe”.

“The presence of such a creature as Conchita Wurst on the European stage is not a tribute to his talent, of which he has none, but merely political buffoonery,” Milonov, architect of the controversial “anti-gay” propaganda law, told Russian News Service. “As for curses, he lives in hell. He himself chose the side of hell, and therefore damnation — this is polite language for someone who leads a sodomite’s life,” Milonov added.

Following Wurst’s victory at the contest last year, Milonov appealed to Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky to ban the singer from entering Russia, slamming her possible entry into the country as “more than criminal negligence”. Medinsky, a conservative politician who has previously denied that composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky was gay, said that it was not within his jurisdiction to ban Wurst from entering the country.

Despite a backlash on social media against Wurst, her winning track, Rise Like a Phoenix, shot to number one in Russia’s iTunes download chart the week after the contest final.

“Precisely a year ago you were able to choose me as the winner of Eurovision in Copenhagen. A big thank you to all of my Russian-speaking fans for your ‘unstoppable’ support,” Wurst’s Facebook post reads.