A number of Russian politicians have criticised the results of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, arguing that the competition was driven by politics.
According to Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, “Geopolitics won on aggregate. Political meddling triumphed over fair competition.”
On Saturday night Ukraine won the contest, which took place in Stockholm. The Ukrainian contestant, Jamala, scored 534 points with the song 1944.
Australia came in second place with 511 points, while Russia — the bookies’ favourite — finished third with 491 points.
While Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko dubbed Jamala’s performance “incredible”, Russian lawmaker Elena Drapeko lamented the “general demonisation of Russia” and stated her belief that Russia’s defeat was due to an “information war”.
Although the Russian public vote gave Jamala ten points, and Ukraine gave Russian contestant Sergei Lazarev 12 points in the televoting, the professional juries from the two countries did not award each other any points.
Jamala’s song 1944 refers to the forced deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea in that year, while Jamala is herself of Crimean Tatar descent. The lyrics of 1944 do not touch on current tensions surrounding Crimea, but the song has been the subject of some controversy, sparking accusations of political subtext.