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Russia puts Ukrainian Eurovision winner on wanted list

Russia has added a Ukrainian singer who won Eurovision, a famous European music competition, in 2016, to a list of wanted criminals, according to state media.

Jamala, whose full name is Susana Jamaladynova, is “on the wanted list on criminal charges,” Russian state news agency TASS reported on Monday (20).

TASS cited as its source the Russian Interior Ministry’s research database, which allegedly framed the artist “in accordance with an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.”

However, it was not specified in the database what this article would be, according to TASS. Police authorities told the news agency that “it may be related to the case of spreading false news about the Russian army.”

The outlet also reported that Jamala was placed on a list of Ukrainian artists who are banned from entering Russia for 50 years, starting in April 2022.

On social media, the singer said that “what happened is yet another testimony that the truth can and should be expressed through art and music”.

“The truth is unshakable, and various forms of expression – conversation, photography, painting and singing – can transmit it”, he highlighted, also thanking the support received.

In 2016, she won Eurovision with a song about the deportation of members of her ethnic group, the Tatars, from Crimea by Russia, then the Soviet Union, during the Second World War.

The artist said that the inspiration for the composition was a story that her great-grandmother told her about the deportation of her family and others in Crimea.

The performance of the song, called “1944”, was considered a strong criticism of the military actions in Ukraine in 2014, led by Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the time, Russia annexed Crimea.

Russia’s state press called the song anti-Russian, and the Kremlin warned it would violate Eurovision rules.

In 2022, Ukraine won the competition again with the song “Stefania”, by the rap group Kalush Orchestra, which talked about the band leader’s mother.

There was a movement on the part of the Europeans for Ukraine to achieve its third victory in the competition, defeating its main rivals, the United Kingdom and Spain, in the event held in the Italian city of Turin.

Typically, the winning country hosts the contest the following year, but Ukraine was unable to do so due to the Russian invasion. As a result, the United Kingdom, which was second in 2022, was chosen, and the city of Liverpool hosted Eurovision in May.

Singer Loreen from Sweden won the 2023 event, becoming the second artist to win the competition more than once. The victory came with the pop song “Tattoo”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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