How Eurovision became the Kremlin’s mousetrap

Rally in support of the Russian annexation of Crimea, March 2014. Source: Kremlin.ru/WikimediaCommons 

Op-ed

Article by: Anton Shekhovtsov
This article was originally published on Transit Online, a project of the Institute for Human Sciences

On 22 March 2017, Ukraine’s authorities barred Russia’s entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest from entering Ukraine. The three-year ban effectively prevents Yulia Samoilova from performing at the contest, which takes place in Kyiv from 9 to 13 May. Ukraine’s state Security Service (SBU) imposed the ban because, in 2015, Samoilova performed in Crimea. Since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, Ukrainian law requires artists wishing to visit the peninsula to first apply for special permission from the Ukrainian authorities. Without it, they are subject to a ban, while their songs – where those artists are singers – cannot be played on Ukrainian radio or TV. In line with these regulations, Ukraine has already barred dozens of Russian and other foreign artists, including Gérard Depardieu and Steven Seagal, from entering the country.

Official Moscow, quite expectedly, appeared to be furious. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin called Ukraine’s move “yet another outrageous, cynical and inhumane act by the Kiev authorities”. Maria Zakharova, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, wrote on Facebook that “the current Ukrainian authorities have once again shown they are a regime infected with Russophobe paranoia and nationalist complexes”, adding that “evidently Kiev is really scared of a fragile girl”. Zakharova’s remark about Samoilova’s “fragility” is apparently a reference to her disability: Samoilova has used a wheelchair since childhood. The singer echoed Zakharova’s comments by expressing her surprise that Kyiv allegedly saw a threat “in such a little girl” as herself.

Read also: Eurovision, Russia, and weaponized disability

Despite the legality of Ukraine’s decision, the ban does not do Ukraine’s international image any favours. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the Eurovision Song Contest, released a dubious statement saying that “we have to respect the local laws of the host country”, but adding that the EBU was “deeply disappointed” in Ukraine’s decision to ban Samoilova. They “feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values”. Some international media also seemed to sympathize with Samoilova and emphasize her disability. For example, the BBC reported: “adding to the howls of outrage here is the fact that the singer being banned has used a wheelchair from childhood and this year the slogan for Eurovision is celebrating diversity”. Other major media outlets used the words “wheelchair” and “ban” in the same sentence, subtly implying that Ukraine’s decision was questionable on ethical grounds.

Ukraine cornered

However, such reactions from the major international media were apparently exactly what Moscow expected, while the Kremlin’s fury seems to be a choreographed act of the information war that Putin’s regime is waging against Ukraine as part of its wider strategy of hybrid warfare. Official Moscow knew that Samoilova had performed in Crimea and that Ukraine banned Russian artists who had performed there. It chose a disabled person as Russia’s Eurovision entrant in the full knowledge that Ukraine would be compelled to ban her and, thus, sully its own international reputation. Because in the fullness of time, the international audience will look back and remember the fact that Ukraine banned a disabled person, rather than Ukraine’s legitimate reason for doing so.

Read also: Gerard Depardieu, the Eurovision contestant, and other Russian artists Ukraine banned

Official Moscow’s actions conform with a Soviet info-war trick called “reflexive control”. Military analyst Timothy L. Thomas defines reflexive control “as a means of conveying to a partner or an opponent specially prepared information to incline him to voluntarily make the predetermined decision desired by the initiator of the action”. The Kremlin presented Ukraine with two options, both of which were mousetraps. Were Ukraine to allow Samoilova to enter the country, it would violate its own law and tacitly recognize the “Russian status” of Crimea. Were Ukraine to stick to the rule of law and ban her – and this is what happened – it would indirectly tarnish its image as a country that adheres to European values. If Ukraine yielded to international pressure and lifted the ban, that would be even better for the Kremlin, which could then argue that Ukraine was a western stooge.

That the Kremlin would try to politicize its nomination for the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv had long been expected. After all, Moscow simply could not miss an opportunity to deliver a riposte to Ukraine winning the contest in 2016. Last year, the Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar origin Jamala won the competition with a song called “1944”, which was widely seen as politically charged: in 1944, the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ordered the deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea. Reference to Russia’s annexation of Crimea was all too evident. (Some Russian politicians and officials even suggested boycotting this year’s contest in Kyiv).

Countering reflexive control

Putting the Kremlin’s ill-will aside, the current situation points to failure on the part of Ukraine on two counts. For it comes as a result of both the SBU’s unsatisfactory work and a lack of creativity in dealing with the insidious opponent.

Firstly, it was the SBU’s job to trace all non-Ukrainian artists who performed in Russian-annexed Crimea in violation of Ukrainian law and ban them from entering Ukraine straight away. Had Ukraine already banned Samoilova from entering Ukraine in 2015, when she performed in Crimea, Moscow would not have chosen her for the Eurovision Song Contest and Ukraine would not have found itself in such an inconvenient situation. (There is little doubt that Moscow would have attempted to do something else to damage Ukraine, but that would have been a different story). At the very least, the SBU could have identified potential candidates during the selection process, checked if they violated any Ukrainian laws and banned Samoilova before she became Russia’s Eurovision nominee.

Secondly, the very acceptance of the idea that there were only two ways to respond to Moscow’s nomination was already an indication of the success of the Kremlin’s reflexive control operation. By accepting Moscow’s rules of the game, Ukraine could not win, but it could have minimized the damage resulting from the Kremlin’s info-war operation or even turned the tables. As Sergej Sumlenny, head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Kyiv, wrote on Facebook, Ukrainians could have outsmarted the Kremlin: “If for example Jamala met the Russian singer at the airport and told her: dear kid, you obviously do not know at all what happened [in] Crimea before. Let me invite you to my house and tell you the story of my people. And there would be pictures in the media [showing] how Jamala [tells] Yulia the real history, and tell[s] her what [the] Kremlin does not want to be told”. Or, as another commentator wrote, Ukraine could have arranged for the Russian singer to meet with Ukrainian servicemen who were disabled as a result of injuries sustained while defending Ukraine against Russian aggression. Ukraine could have come up with other ideas too. It is undeniable that all of them would have been very political, but – given the circumstances – there is no apolitical way of responding to the Kremlin’s reflexive control operation.

Read also: Is military aggression at the heart of Eurovision’s values? Open letter in protest of EBU statement

Today, there seems to be no solution to the problem of Russia’s Eurovision contestant. Following the Ukrainian travel ban, the EBU made an unprecedented move and offered Russia the opportunity to have Samoilova participate in the contest via satellite. As the EBU argued, this would be “in the spirit of Eurovision’s values of inclusivity” and this year’s theme of celebrating diversity. Moscow rejected the EBU’s offer. To a certain degree, this improves the otherwise inconvenient situation for Ukraine, since it is now Russia rather than Ukraine that is throwing sand in the Eurovision machine. Nevertheless, the overall situation is far from having been resolved, and Moscow will likely continue using it to damage Ukraine’s international image.

Source: This article was originally published on Transit Online, a project of the Institute for Human Sciences

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Comments

  1. Avatar Terry Washington says:

    Damned if it did and damned if it didn’t- Ukraine looks bad it banned Yulia Samoylova and equally banned if it didn’t!

    1. Avatar Alex George says:

      Except that she broke Ukrainian law by illegally entering Ukraine. No country tolerates that.

      It would be different if she was being banned merely because of her political opinions, but that is not the case. She illegally entered Ukrainian territory (Crimea) without obtaining a visa from the Ukrainian government. That will earn you a ban on further entry in almost all countries .

  2. Avatar Greg says:

    we all need to write to the EBU, I have already sent my letter. the EBU needs to be told that Russia is an Invading nation and had caused the deaths of 10,000 Ukrainians. Russia also knew the law but chose to ignore thus the EBU has become an agent for Russia working to subjugate Ukraine. so send to Ingrid Deltenre at dgo at ebu.ch

    1. Avatar Alex George says:

      Well done, great idea.

      1. Avatar Greg says:

        Thank you. it seems others have written as well. https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/letters/tobias-weihmann-open-letter-protest-ebu-statement.html

        I also copied Kyiv Post on my letter

        Kyiv Post published EBU’s letter and it has addresses to send to people

      2. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

        Who cares WTF you “think” you Ruski **MOLE** ?

        Oh yeah ….. the other one — “Vasyl P.” — he upvoted you! 🙂

        ————-
        ATTENTION!!! — RUSKI ANIMAL **MOLE** INFILTRATOR & TRUMP SUPPORTER!!!

        “Vasyl P.” — Ruski MOLE. — LIAR!!

        — A “TRUMP SUPPORTER” :)))

        HE IS A RUSKI **MOLE** & “moderator” of a RUSKI MOLE-TROLL SITE — with SPUTNIK & VARIOUS

        OTHER RUSKI COMMIE ARTICLES @ VARIOUS “DISQUS CHANNELS” like:

        __UKRAINE TODAY USA__

        __THE PRESIDENT TRUMP CHANNEL__

        __IMPERIAL NEWS NETWORK__ etc.. BS “Disqus Channels”

        (FREE!! CHEAP!!!)

        CLAIMS ON HIS DISQUS PAGE
        https://disqus.com/by/Vapetrenko/
        ———————-
        Right-wing freedom fighter; pro-democracy, anti-corruption, anti-feminazis, anti-fascist,

        Russian, Ukrainian, American

        ————————–

        Has claimed in the past to be Ukrainian & American.

        IS NEITHER!!

        SPOKE RUSKI AT ME — Thinking I would (or should?!?!) understand that DOG BARK & GROWL

        LANGUAGE 🙂

        “Larissa” a “MODERATOR” MOLE/TROLL & the OTHER SCUM — will ALL tell you how “Larissa” —

        “LOST HER ONLY CHILD IN DONBAS!!!!”

        A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-E-E-E-eeeeeee!!!!! 🙂

        Another RUSKI SKANK — whined about being “RAPED”!!! as per her Disqus home page no less!!!! :))

        — she deleted it after I repeatedly posted & laughed at her DUM RUSKI @SS!!! :))

        The STUPID RUSKA ‘HO !!! :)))

        1. Avatar Alex George says:

          Actually it is you who are the “Russki mole” and you make that obvious. Your loud demands for physical violence against a disabled woman are calculated to bring Ukraine into disrepute. .You thus seek to achieve Putin’s purpose.

          1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            Alex George WROTE: 18 hours ago
            “Actually it is you who are the “Russki mole” and you make that
            obvious. Your loud demands for physical violence against a disabled
            woman are calculated to bring Ukraine into disrepute. .You thus seek to
            achieve Putin’s purpose.”

            I WANT TO KNOCK HER OUT OF HER WHEELCHAIR & KICK HER IN THE FACE A LOT!!!
            RUSSO-MONGOLIAN PIG!!!!

            SHE SHOULD BE TORTURED WITH HOT IRONS!!! — THE RUSKI WAY!!!!

    2. Avatar Jack Hamilton says:

      Idiot! You have ZERO knowledge of the facts! I’m an American living in Ukraine and nearly everything the Western media and governments want you to believe about Russia are lies!

      1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

        You are not an American!!!

        You are a Russo-mongolian SCUMBAG & Ruski communist!

      2. Avatar Vasyl P. says:

        So you deny the war in Donbass?

        1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

          ATTENTION!!! — RUSKI ANIMAL **MOLE** INFILTRATOR & TRUMP SUPPORTER!!!

          “Vasyl P.” — Ruski MOLE. — LIAR!!

          — A “TRUMP SUPPORTER” :)))

          HE IS A RUSKI **MOLE** & “moderator” of a RUSKI MOLE-TROLL SITE — with SPUTNIK & VARIOUS

          OTHER RUSKI COMMIE ARTICLES @ VARIOUS “DISQUS CHANNELS” like:

          __UKRAINE TODAY USA__

          __THE PRESIDENT TRUMP CHANNEL__

          __IMPERIAL NEWS NETWORK__ etc.. BS “Disqus Channels”

          (FREE!! CHEAP!!!)

          CLAIMS ON HIS DISQUS PAGE
          https://disqus.com/by/Vapetrenko/
          ———————-
          Right-wing freedom fighter; pro-democracy, anti-corruption, anti-feminazis, anti-fascist,

          Russian, Ukrainian, American

          ————————–

          Has claimed in the past to be Ukrainian & American.

          IS NEITHER!!

          SPOKE RUSKI AT ME — Thinking I would (or should?!?!) understand that DOG BARK & GROWL

          LANGUAGE 🙂

          “Larissa” a “MODERATOR” MOLE/TROLL & the OTHER SCUM — will ALL tell you how “Larissa” —

          “LOST HER ONLY CHILD IN DONBAS!!!!”

          A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-E-E-E-eeeeeee!!!!! 🙂

          Another RUSKI SKANK — whined about being “RAPED”!!! as per her Disqus home page no less!!!! :)) — she deleted it after I repeatedly posted & laughed at her DUM RUSKI @SS!!! :))

          1. Avatar Vasyl P. says:

            ATTENTION!!! — Andrew strives with all his might to turn Ukraine supporters against each other!

          2. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            You ARE NOT UKRAINIAN, YOU ***LYING*** RUSKI SCUMBAG!!!

          3. Avatar Vasyl P. says:

            My father is, but then again no matter what I say, you appear to try to know more about me than I do, LMAO

          4. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “My father is…”

            LIAR!!!
            GO TALK **MORE** Ruski at some Ukr. AND **EXPECT** THEM TO ***UNDERSTAND*** YOU STUPID monhol faqqot!!! 🙂

            Btw — does “Larissa” — now “L” — STILL SAY :Crimea is really Russian” ???? !!!! :))))

            STUPID RUSKI !!!!
            SCUM!!!!

            BTW — WHY TF YOU DECIDE TO ***HIDE** YOUR POSTING PROFILE — AGAIN ??? 😉

            MONHOL MORON!!!
            SCUM!!!
            FILTH!!!

            I SPIT IN YOUR STUPID & EVIL RUSKI COMMUNIST TROLL FACE!!!

            LEARNA DA ANGLISH — YOU STUPID RUSKI!!!

          5. Avatar Vasyl P. says:

            I learned “da anglish” better than you have clearly, as I can articulate my points without once flaming people. You however have much more work to do 🙂

          6. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            So???

            You did NOT answer my question….

            DID “MODERATOR” —- “I LOST MY BABY IN DONBAS!!!!!” — “Larissa” now “L” — still say “Crimea is really Russian” ??? :)))

            Or did she stop now???? 😉

            YOU **CLEVER** RUSKI SCUM YOU ARE!!! :)))
            MORONS!!!

            Seems to me — you STUPID MOLE–TROLLS gotta lot of work to do!!!

            ANIMALS!!! — BEASTS!!! — COMMUNISTS!!! —- RUSKI RAT EATING FILTH!!!!

            MONHOL ANIMALS!!! — I SPIT IN YOUR DIRTY STUPID RUSKI FACES!!!

            ” P ‘ T F U !!!”

            RAT’S DISGUSTING! Russian restaurant serves up RAT burger to diners saying the meat has health benefits

            https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2225389/russian-restaurant-serves-up-rat-burger-to-diners-saying-the-meat-has-health-benefits/

            Russian restaurant serves up RAT burger to diners saying the meat …
            https://www.thesun.co.uk/…/russian-restaurant-serves-up-rat-burger-to-diners-saying-the…Nov 21, 2016 – THE sight of a rat in a restaurant would normally send you running for the door, but in Russia the rodents are being served up in the latest …

            Rat burgers offered by Krasnodar Bistro in Moscow, Russia | Metro News

            metro.co.uk › Food › Food

            Nov 23, 2016 – This Russian restaurant is serving up burgers made from rat … I mean, I don’t even wash all my food before I eat it, so this rat has one up on me …

            Rat Burgers Gaining Popularity in Russia – IGN

            http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/12/24/rat-burgers-gaining-popularity-in-russiaDec 24, 2016 – One creature, known colloquially as the river rat, is being re-branded as a … was, you probably didn’t think “Boy, I’d sure like to eat that small animal!” … The river rat, as its sometimes known, is found in southern Russia and is …

            Rodents served up in a soft bun with relish and salad

          7. Avatar Vasyl P. says:

            Glad you make fun of victims of Donbas, shows how you really feel about it. You probably laugh at the other dead Ukrainians there do you?

          8. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            Nope …. I MAKE FUN OF RUSKI PIGSLUTS THAT PRETEND TO HAVE BEEN RAPED AND/OR “LOST THEIR BABIES” — to try to get sympathy as they TROLL & MOLE — YOU ARE INDEED SUCH A “CLEVER” — “ANGLISH” SPEAKER — ya’ dum RUSKI POS & STUKACH!!!

            Ruski NEVER CHANGE!!!
            Whuch is why the Mogols thought you were the LOWEST SCUM TO EVER EXIST & HATED YOUR KIND!!!

            So has “Larissa” (“L”) stopped saying “Crimea is really Russian” 😉
            She is so SMART & SNEAKY A RUSKA POS!!! :)))

            Probably a D Y K E like most of the women in Moscow & St. Pete they say …. ANIMALS!!!

            https://www.google.com/search?q=Gay+Moscow&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

          9. Avatar Alex George says:

            In other words, you do exactly what Vasyl said. You make fun of the victims of Donbass.

            The person Larissa that you are referring did lose her child due to shelling in the Donbass – that has been confirmed by many people. She is not a Russian, she is Ukrainian.

          10. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “… as I can articulate my points without once flaming people. You however have much more work to do 🙂 ”

            So you Ruski can now tell us Crimean is Russian & Ruski good & fool us huh?
            SCUM !!!

            Here — give this to “Larissa” — Now “L” & to “Susannah” — now “S” —-

            I CAN TELL THEY ARE RUSKI!!!! FILTH!!! LIKE ALL RUSKI FEMALES!!!
            MUCH TOO MASCULINE!!! EVEN IN NY — NASTY !!! DIRTY!!!

            BEWARE OF SUMMER IN AN ELEVATOR IN MOSCOW WITH RUSKI WOMEN!!!

            WHY ??? — YOU KNOW WHY!!
            Hmm … probably not … you are used to IT !
            From yo’ Ruska mama! — THAT RUSSIAN, DIRTY FILTH!!!

            WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!! ???

            https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=vagina+smells

          11. Avatar Alex George says:

            I assume all this rant means you are angry because you were booted off UA Today USA – and you are proving how right they were to boot you.

          12. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            Suk my white dik you RUSSO-MONGOLIAN LYING POS !!!

          13. Avatar Vasyl P. says:

            So you admit to being homosexual? That must be the reason why you spew hate at homosexuals in your comments

          14. Avatar MichaelA says:

            What are you taking about?
            most ukrainians understand russian

          15. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “What are you taking about?
            most ukrainians understand russian”

            Do most Ruski understand Ukrainian?

          16. Avatar MichaelA says:

            Of course not but stop trying to dodge
            You tried to tell us that someone who understands Russian is not Ukrainian
            No Ukrainian would say that
            You are just trying to get Ukrainians arguing with each other.

          17. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “Of course not”

            AND YTF NOT?

            (go hide your profile some more — Finno-Ugric faqqot!)

          18. Avatar MichaelA says:

            What a stupid question – why am I not Ukrainian? The same reason you are not.
            You are just trying to dodge
            You try to get Ukraine supporters fighting each other
            That is why you were banned from Kyiv Post

          19. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            You REFUSE to answer — you LYING POS ***RUSKI*** MOLE!!! 🙂

            YOU ARE NOT UKRAINIAN …… you RUSKI MOLE POS!!! :)))

          20. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            You DID NOT answer the question as to WHY many Ukr. do know monhol language & RUSLI DO NOT KNOW UKR. :)))

            You fool anyone reading you “think” — you “clever” monhol? 🙂

            AND BTW — STUPID !!! — MANY UKR. DO **NOT** SPEAK MONHOL!!!!

            Not in the small cities etc….. that’s OLD BS!!! COMMIE BS LANGUAGE!!!
            NOT WORTH A FK!!! — LIKE YOUR BS “JOB” :)))

            RUSKI SCUMBAG!!!! :)))

          21. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “Of course not but stop trying to dodge”

            Why not?
            You STILL didn’t answer why not?

          22. Avatar MichaelA says:

            You are just trying to get Ukrainians to argue with each other
            You work for FSB

          23. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            You are NOT UKRAINIAN!!!! :)))

            You fool anyone you think???? 😉

            RUSKI KRETIN!!!! :)))

          24. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “You tried to tell us that someone who understands Russian is not Ukrainian”

            WHERE TF — DID ** I ** EVER SAY THAT??? 🙂

            PROVE IT YOU LYING RUSKI ANIMAL!!! :))

          25. Avatar MichaelA says:

            You aren’t Ukrainian either

          26. Avatar Alex George says:

            He didn’t write Ukrainian, but “Ukraine supporters”. So, no, he didn’t lie at all.

            Can’t you read posts?

          27. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            **MY** pointwas/is:
            You ARE NOT UKRAINIAN, YOU ***LYING*** RUSKI SCUMBAG!!!

            can’t YOU read —- Finno-Ugric THRASH!!!

          28. Avatar MichaelA says:

            So what – you aren’t ukrainian

          29. Avatar Alex George says:

            No, actually its you who cannot read.

            He didn’t write Ukrainian, but “Ukraine supporters”. So, no, he didn’t lie at all.

            Learn to read posts before responding.

          30. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            You always were (& still are) — A LYING, GUTLESS little faqqot!

            I didn’t like you back then. nor do I now.

            Your BS will come out, & YOU WILL NEVER “make it” to America :))
            My “turn” then — to “INFORM” — an EVIL anti-American POS you know 😉

          31. Avatar MichaelA says:

            What does this have to do with the article?

          32. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            Has to do with *YOU* — stupid monhol faqqot!!!

          33. Avatar Alex George says:

            Ah so predictable – Andrew attacks a friend of Ukraine for saying Russia is attacking Ukraine in the Donbass.

      3. Avatar Greg says:

        well if you are an American living in Ukraine, you must live in the Donbass area helping Putin to invade. I have been to Ukraine, travel there often, I talk to Ukrainians every day from all over Ukraine. I do business with Ukrainian companies read Russian and Ukrainian news. Russia under Putin is out to destroy and Putin is our generations’ Hitler. Putin like Hitler before him will push until he has his major war, it is coming WW3.

      4. Avatar Greg says:

        what are the lies being told by Ukraine and the West? if there is anyone lying it is Putin and his FSB Mafia leadership. I remember a comment about finding brand new tanks in coal mines)))

      5. Avatar MichaelA says:

        I visit Ukraine frequently and keep in regular contact with people there. What are you calling “lies”?

        And by the way, what part of Ukraine are you in? My contacts are mainly in Kyiv, although a couple in other places too.

        1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

          Artem Grigorenko — NEW RUSKI ***MOLE*** ACCOUNT!!! :))

          https://disqus.com/by/disqus_B1GEqM7Ptm/

          1. Avatar Alex George says:

            Hi Andrew – still trying to stir up dissension among Putin’s enemies?

            Your tactics are pretty obvious by now, my friend. Or are you still bitter because UA Today USA threw you out, like so many other pro-Ukrainian blogs have done already? ;o)

      6. Avatar Scradje says:

        The intellect of kremtrolls has slipped from the level of a bovine to that of a maggot.

    3. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      Yeah man. Your conspiracy theories are perfectly fine in banning a DISABLED girl.

      1. Avatar Greg says:

        well the girl broke the law!!!

        1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          Laws made by Hitler. Are they adhered to today?
          Just a question

          1. Avatar Greg says:

            not sure what relevance your words have to this discussion! Unless you want to advance the thought that Putin is today’s Hitler!

          2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            What?? No answer.
            yeah I expected that

    4. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      Write all you like.
      Too bad no one cares

  3. Avatar Anna Palagina says:

    So, EBU issued a standard European blablablabla statement, and everyone is very worried? Relax, people, and take example from Israel. Does Israel give a fuck what EU, US and the rest of the world thinks about its effort to deal with domestic terrorism? Right, it does not. Mess with Texas, pay the price. This is not a difficult concept to grasp, even for brain-addled speechwriters of the EBU 🙂

    1. Avatar Alex George says:

      Excellent point.

    2. Avatar gmab says:

      What I don’t understand is why this has received so much press in the first place. It’s ridiculous.

      1. Avatar Greg says:

        What I really do not understand is why is the EBU acting as an agent for Russia? Why are they enabling Russia in Putin’s efforts to invade and conquer Ukraine! read the letter on https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/letters/tobias-weihmann-open-letter-protest-ebu-statement.html

        a very good message

  4. Avatar gmab says:

    Not much attention paid to the fact RuSSia didn’t follow rules and have the public voters select the contestant. This makes it obvious that she was appointed solely as a pawn for PUtler’s sick propaganda.

    1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

      And STUPID people don’t mind!

      I wanna kick her in the face myself ….

  5. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    Ukraine is not cornered. Any oxygen-breathing human being with a brain understands what the primates of Muscovy are doing here. Their cynicism and evil knows no bounds. Ukrainians understand this mind-set more than any country on the planet and they should be supported by the Eurovision snowflakes.

  6. Avatar Scradje says:

    Which of the EBU’s members would welcome visiting singers from fascist countries who have stolen land and inflicted mass murder upon them? If China invaded Siberia, would fuehrer putler welcome Chinese singers to putlerstan?

  7. Avatar Ihor Dawydiak says:

    There are none so blind as those who cannot or will not see the reality that lies before them. Therefore, what can be done to neutralize Putin’s perverted propaganda war against Ukraine? One sure method is to fight fire with fire. It may require some financing but by engaging and using the Western mass media (especially reputable high volume outlets such as the New York or London Times and popular talk shows, etc.) would certainly help douse the Kremlin’s attempt at arson. All that is needed is an aggressive will to make it happen.

  8. Avatar Jack Hamilton says:

    Your article is the definition of “yellow journalism” slanted in favor of Ukraine. While you may try to put Ukraine in a positive light, the rest of the world laughs at Ukraine!

    1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

      “Jack Hamilton” — ANOTHER CHEAP RUSSO-MONGOLIAN TROLL! 🙂

    2. Avatar Alex George says:

      Does it? I haven’t seen much sign of that so far.

      Russia’s cynical actions in this matter will rebound on it, as they so often do.

      The Russian government (not the Russian people) chose a disabled singer in order to maximise the pity factor, and sent her on to Ukrainian territory (Crimea) as an illegal entrant, knowing that this was a breach of Ukrainian sovereignty which could not be let pass.

      She is an illegal border-crosser and no longer has any right to enter Ukraine.

    3. Avatar Murf says:

      So “Jack” exactly WHO is laughingst Ukraine?
      Is it the EU who just made $600 million in loan garentees and is Ukraine’s largest trading partner?
      How about the US who has authorized 150 million in lethal aid?
      Maybe it’s Japan who has opened a car parts plant and is preparing a second that will employ 8k workers?
      Perhaps China who is Ukraine’s largest arms customer, has several aviation deals in the works and is investing billions?
      Maybe it’s Canada who just signed a FTA and arms deal.
      So who is laughing at Putin’s silly school boy propaganda tricks?

      1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

        Hmm…. a lot of that i didn’t know….

        But … TRUMP!
        Some say the “unknown” and sold/givem 16.5% of Rosneft oil company went ???? was earmarked for ??? — somewhere around Trump people as per Christopher Steel, the MI6 former agent who got the ball rolling on Trump… He just came out of hiding a few days ago…

        Ex-FBI DUDE& RUSKI SPECIALIST SAYS:

        “Follow the Trail of Dead Russians”

        https://www.facebook.com/MicMedia/videos/1454713961218056/

        1. Avatar Murf says:

          Good news in the Trump Administration, Trump advisor Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council.
          Bannon is an other one of Trumps buddies from New York who fancies him self quite the political schemer.
          He had the bright idea of courting Putin to play him againest China.
          Putin is a lot of things but he is not dumb enough to fall for that.
          He took the the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs position even though he had as much qualifications as a dog catcher.
          Good riddance.

          1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            “He had the bright idea of courting Putin to play him against China.
            Putin is a lot of things but he is not dumb enough to fall for that.
            He took the the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs position even though he had as much qualifications as a dog catcher.
            Good riddance.”

            So … he was “THAT SMART” — so he thought…. the moron!!!

            Heard they put military men back in as they should of …. heard that it was the military that wanted that Bannon @sshole — TF OUT!!!!

            He pissed them off evidently…

          2. Avatar Murf says:

            Of course he pissed them off, he is poser.
            A want a be strategist who thought schmoozing with Trump and some loud mouthed right wingers in New York made him something special.
            New Yorkers have a saying; “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”
            Well there is not much about the Madison avenue social scene that prepares you for the proper employment of JADAM bombs in the Middle Eastern urban environment.
            But if you are one of the President’s security advisers you sure as sh*t need to be familiar with them.
            I also find it interesting that a week after the US says it is not going to try to remove Assad that there is a chemical attack.Are the two related?
            I don’t think so.
            A few months ago Trump and Putin had their first phone conversation and with in 24hrs the Battle of Avdiiivka started.
            Whats the lesson Trump should take away from this?
            Putin does not want cooperation, he sees it as weakness.
            So he had better start conducting himself accordingly.

          3. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

            Interesting. “Putin does not want cooperation, he sees it as weakness.”

            Yep! If you’re talking with him, you must be a faqqot or a pus$y.
            Had to google some of what you said like “JADAM bombs”.

            Description of:
            “Battle of Avdiiivk”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Avdiivka

            Got it’s own entry I see!

            I recall a long while ago giving you — an article about that bunch, LONG BEFORE that battle — “The Weary Eyed Ukrainian Army” — something like that …. About the 72nd Mechanized Brigade.

            Months later … here they are….. Tank assaults & all that heavy duty stuff… Grad missiles …. nasty stuff!
            Sort of — “classic war stuff” between “real armies”.

            Wiki did NOT say they were fighting Ruski Army though.
            Why this BS fiction? — But that’s “politically correct” I suppose.

  9. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

    “…. the EBU was “deeply disappointed” in Ukraine’s decision to ban
    Samoilova. They “feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest,
    and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values”.

    I wanna spit in her face and kick her wheelchair & knock her off it! 🙂

    It would make me feel a LOT better! 🙂

    Evidently, the Ukrainian people killed, crippled, made homeless by invading, torturing Ruski rapists, murderers is “OK” —- because this Russian gimp is “special” & the fact that she KNEW WTF the LAW was, and that she ALSO WROTE ANTI-UKRAINIAN ARTICLES is “OK” — because she is a RUSSIAN CRIPPLE CHOSEN BY “A SPECIAL SELECTION” —- BY RUSKI OFFICIALS and NOT in any competition!

    Kick the scumbag’s wheelchair over!!!
    Then kick her in the face!!! :)))

    I’d pay to hear her scream LOUDLY in Ruski agony! 🙂

    1. Avatar Alex George says:

      You might, but the vast majority of the Ukrainian people would not, nor would its supporters. Opposing her and denying her entry is one thing – advocating physical violence against a disabled person is not.

      Once again, you are trying to bring Ukraine into disrepute. Your views do not represent those of Ukraine or its supporters.

      1. Avatar Andrew Chmile says:

        “advocating physical violence against a disabled person is not.”

        NOT A “disabled person” YOU STUPID RUSKI!!!
        IT IS RUSSIAN!!! — NOT A “PERSON” — & A ruski agent of WAR!!!

        May the rest of her evil scumbag life be an AGONY!!!
        “P’tfu!” — I SPIT IN HER & YOUR MONHOL FACES!!!
        WEAK & CRIPPLED YOU ALL ARE!!!! :)))