Ukraine’s representative at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be a Crimean Tatar singer, who will perform a song with anti-Russian political sentiments.
Singer Susana Jamaladinova was chosen by a televised audience to represent the country, receiving 380,000 votes from viewers, as well as approval from a three-person judging panel.
The Guardian reports that the song ‘1944’ approaches the subject of the mass deportation of Tatars in the region under Josef Stalin during the year of its title. It does not reference Russia’s recent annex of Crimea.
The song features the lyrics: “When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say ‘We’re not guilty’”.
Jamaladinova said of the song: “That terrible year changed forever the life of one fragile woman, my great-grandmother Nazylkhan. Her life was never the same”.
Eurovision prohibits songs with political content, but Mustafa Jamilev, leader of the Crimean Tatars, says: “There is no mention there about occupation or other outrages that the occupants are doing in our motherland; nevertheless it touches on the issue of indigenous people who have undergone horrible iniquities”.
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The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 will take place in Stockholm during May after Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw won this year’s contest in Vienna, Austria with the song ‘Heroes’.