Alina Pash is Ukraine’s Eurovision 2022 contestant, but not without controversy

15 February 2022, 05:30 AM

Ukraine has its Eurovision entry – rapper Alina Pash won the Ukraine’s national selection in Kyiv on Feb. 12 with her song “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.”

 Her victory wasn’t unblemished, however – active debate on Ukrainian social media followed the competition regarding irregularities in the voting process, as well as Pash’s alleged visits to Russia and occupied Crimea.

Some commentators believe Pash visited Crimea by flying through Russia – an offense under Ukrainian law, which doesn’t recognize Russian authority over the peninsula. If true, Pash would have also violated the Eurovision selection committee’s own rules, which prohibit artists that have performed in occupied Crimea via Russia, from representing Ukraine.

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In an interview with the Social Life (Svitske Zhyttia) TV show, the singer commented on her trip to occupied Crimea in 2015, and insisted that she had provided the Ukraine’s public broadcaster with all the necessary information before the National Selection finals.

In 2019, Alina Pash, in an interview with Social Life host Kateryna Osadcha, mentioned that she flew to Crimea through Russia, but now claims she was misunderstood.

“Yes. We went there. We traveled by bus. I flew and traveled a lot. I said in general that we flew, we traveled a lot. We had concerts, tours. I answered in general. I did not say that we definitely flew and so on. Crossed borders. Suspіlne has everything, complete originals of certificates and so on. Believe me, it was difficult,” Pash said.

“This was in 2015…It’s annoying! Nothing can come up that I may be judged for. Alina Pash sings in Ukrainian, speaks Ukrainian, she is from Zakarpattia. She creates culture, traditions and will continue to do so. Half of your country sings in Russian – let’s be honest, if we're already arguing!”

Ukraine’s Eurovision Selection committee have not commented on whether Pash’s victory will be re-examined in light of these accusations.

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