Ukraine, twice winner of Eurovision, will not participate this year in the famous song festival. After a great controversy with Maruv, the winner of the contest with which the Ukrainians elected their representative and who ended up vetoed by his relationship with Russia, the public broadcasting company (UA-PBC) of the country has decided that he will not attend. This is what he announced on Wednesday. The public network had demanded the pop star a series of requirements after his appointment, among them to cancel the concerts that Maruv had planned in Russian territory. When not reaching an agreement, the UA had considered that Maruv did not fulfill the requirements to be its "cultural ambassador".
Kiev and Moscow are in serious crisis since five years ago Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula; conflict that is an open war in the East of Ukraine with more than 13,000 dead, where the Kremlin backs the pro-Russian separatists.
Kiev did not have many options left. And in the end he has chosen to nip in the bud. After the veto of Anna Korsun, known as Maruv, the Freedom Jazz trio -which had been in second position-, the pop group KAZKA -the third-, and Brunettes Shoot Blondes -the rooms chosen by the spectators-, rejected the offer of the public chain. They declared that after the scandal they would not go to the Festival, which this year is celebrated in May in Tel Aviv. The situation has provoked the harsh criticism of the public broadcasting company Ukraine, which says that there has been an "excessive politicization" of national competition. In addition, he disapproves of the links of the musical groups with Moscow. Many Ukrainian artists are very famous in Russia. Some still act there, although almost all without pronouncing on the conflict. They claim that they are outside politics.
"The musical contest is an opportunity for each country to signify internationally and for each interpreter to act as ambassador of his country and win supporters around the world," says the public broadcasting company of Ukraine in a statement. "However, the national team of 2019 revealed and attracted the attention of our society to the systemic problem of the music industry in Ukraine: the connections of entertainment artists in the territory of the aggressor state, which are still very close in the fifth year of the military conflict, for one part of society, this fact is acceptable, on the other side it causes indignation and rejection, "the statement of the UA-PBC continues.
Maruv, 27, who had won the national contest with the catchy and sensual Siren Song , in English, said she had been willing to give up her shows in Russia. But other requirements-among them being especially careful when touching on the territorial integrity of Ukraine or making public statements that could damage the country's image in the international arena-would amount to "censorship" and making "political propaganda." In addition, he accused the public broadcaster of stealing the victory.
This year's scandal is added to previous ones between Russia and Ukraine on account of Eurovision. In 2016, the Ukrainian singer Jamala won the international competition with a song titled 1944, alluding to the deportations of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin. A year later, when when Kiev hosted the festival vetoed the representative of Russia because she had acted in Crimea -Whose annexation violates international law, according to the EU or the USA, for example- without the permission of the Ukrainian Government. Moscow responded by boycotting the festival.