New East Digital Archive

Ukraine to boycott Eurovision in case of Russian victory

Ukraine to boycott Eurovision in case of Russian victory
Ukraine's representative at Eurovision 2016, Jamala (Image: Sasha Samsonova)

13 May 2016

Ukraine will boycott Eurovision 2017 if Russia wins this year’s contest, according to Zurab Alasania, the general director of the National Television Company of Ukraine.

“If the man named Lazarev [the Russian contestant, Sergei Lazarev] wins, I think that next year UA:Pershy [the Ukrainian state-run TV channel] will once again refuse to participate in the contest,” Mr Alasania stated on his Facebook page, referring to Ukraine’s absence from the contest last year in the midst of tensions between Ukraine and Russia regarding Crimea and the east of Ukraine.

Mr Alasania added that he would be happy however well the Ukrainian participant, Jamala, does in the final. Jamala’s song is entitled 1944, and refers to the forced deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea in that year. The lyrics of 1944 do not touch on current tensions surrounding Crimea, but the song has been the subject of some controversy.

Source: Lenta (in Russian)