Europe,  Russia

Will Eurovision produce Putin’s challenger?

The Washington Post reports that the favorite to win tonight’s Eurovision song contest, Sergey Lazarev of Russia, is an outspoken opponent of the Putin regime’s denial of full rights to LGBTs and its annexation of Crimea.

After watching the video of his song, I think I can deal quite easily with missing the whole extravaganza for yet another year.

It seems Russians take their Eurovision quite seriously. The Post reports:

When Russia won the contest for the first time in 2008, Vladimir Putin himself made a surprise entrance at one of the rehearsals, to reinforce the music competition’s priority status in bringing Russia’s cultural ascendance to the world. And when Azerbaijan didn’t award points to Russia in 2013, even though Russia had extended the gesture, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “This does not makes one happy. We will agree on a unified course of action so this outrageous action will not remain without an answer.”

Cultural ascendance? From Tchaikovsky and Dostoevsky to this?

Anyway, if young Sergey wins, will he be in a powerful enough position to challenge Putin politically?

Feel free to comment on the competition in real time. The snarkier the better, of course.

Update: And the winner is Ukraine’s entry “1944” by Jamala. The song is about the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars by Stalin in that year. Given the forcible annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, this is sure to annoy Vladimir Putin. Good. The fact that Jamala is herself a Crimean Tatar and a Muslim may annoy others.

Mazal Tov.

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