Ukraine’s newly selected Eurovision singer withdrew from the contest after allegations that she traveled illegally to Russian-controlled Crimea in 2015.
Alina Pash was screened by Ukraine’s national television for a trip she allegedly made seven years ago.
Russia seized control of the peninsula in 2014, and travel to the region – albeit discouraged for Ukrainians – is only allowed through official checkpoints in Ukraine.
Pash provided official documents proving that she did not enter Crimea through Russia, which is illegal under Ukrainian law, and authorities tried to check with border officials.
Writing on Instagram, Pash said in Ukrainian: “I am a citizen of Ukraine, I follow the laws of Ukraine, I try to pass on to the world the traditions and values of Ukraine.
“What this story turned out to be is not at all what I put into my song.
“I am an artist, not a politician. I do not have an army of PR people, managers, lawyers to withstand all these attacks and pressure.”
She continues: “I no longer want to take part in this dirty story. With a heavy heart I withdraw my candidacy as Ukraine’s representative at Eurovision. I am really sorry.”
Her retirement comes days after Pash won the national selection with her song Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, which is said to be linked to the country’s history.
Eurovision is being held in Turin, Italy, this year after alt-rockers Maneskin won last year with their song Zitti E Buoni, and will be hosted by British-Lebanese pop singer Mika.
Tensions in Eastern Europe remain highwith Vladimir Putin in talks with Western leaders about his deployment of troops along the Ukrainian border.
Despite claims by the Russian leader that troops are being sent home, NATO believes more have actually been deployed and fears of an impending invasion remain high.
Russia is seeking demands from the West to prevent Ukraine, its neighbor, from joining NATO.
Ukraine’s Eurovision withdraws after allegations that it traveled illegally to Russian-controlled Crimea | Ents and art news
Source link Ukraine’s Eurovision withdraws after allegations that it traveled illegally to Russian-controlled Crimea | Ents and art news