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Ukraine has a Eurovision pop at Russia

'They come to your house, they kill you all', croons cheery chanteuse

By Lester Haines, 22 Feb 2016

Ukraine looks set to put the Boom Bang-a-Bang back into the Eurovision Song Contest with a jolly ditty about Stalin's forced relocation of Crimean Tatars.

According to the BBC, chanteuse Jamala's 1944 is "about the tragedy that befell her great-grandmother, when the dictator sent 240,000 Tatars on crowded trains to barren Central Asia".

It cheerfully begins: "When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say: 'We're not guilty'."

While Eurovision rules do not allow songs with "lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature" - and indeed Georgia's 2009 entry We Don't Wanna Put In got into trouble for making merry at the expense of Russian prez Vlad Putin - the underlying message of 1944 is clear enough.

Eurovision 2004 winner Rouslana clarified: "This song is precisely what we are all suffering in Ukraine today."

Of course, there's always been an element of politics in Eurovision, and long-term fans will doubtless sigh at the memory of Greece and Cyprus's wearisome annual ritual of awarding each other maximum points.

This year's Eurovision takes place in Stockholm in May. Viewers can look forward to an exciting new voting system and possible Russian military intervention. ®


For those of you au fait with the local lingo, here's a vid on Jamala and 1944:

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