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ESC Reporter | November 23, 2014

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Why wasn't Ruslana at Junior Eurovision?

Why wasn’t Ruslana at Junior Eurovision?
Eric Nocito

As reported earlier, it was revealed that two Eurovision winners, Emmelie de Forest (2013) and Ruslana (2004), would be present and perform at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Kyiv, Ukraine.  So why did we only see Emmelie de Forest?

It was confirmed by all news sources and NTU, Ukraine’s national broadcaster, that Ruslana would indeed be performing at the live show with a children’s choir.  Then, we saw the dress rehearsal of Ruslana’s act.

Ruslana even uploaded a video with the children’s choir announcing her upcoming appearance at the show:

 

 

 

So, it was an eerie and strange feeling when the show concluded with no trace of Ruslana.  Seems like her act and any evidence of it completely disappeared from the show.

Well, her absence has an answer now.

Since November 21, thousands of Ukrainians have been gathering in Kyiv’s “Майдан Незалежності” or “Independence Square.”  They have been protesting the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his government’s refusal to sign a economic and trade deal with the European Union.  This would have opened up a chance for Ukraine to join the EU in the future, a decision frowned on by Yanukovych, a Russian-backed leader.

Independence Square as been further renamed to European Square, or EuroMaidan, for which the movement is now named. This is the same exact location of the 2004 protests, known as the Orange Revolution, which proceeded the Kyiv hosting of Eurovision 2005 by only months.  Also, the protests in 2004 and 2013 protest the same man, Viktor Yanukovych, who in 2004 was ousted as president when it was revealed he ascended to the position by electoral fraud.

Ruslana was a leading figure in the Orange Revolution in 2004, and now is the unofficial leader of the EuroMaidan protests, alongside world-famous boxer Vitali Kitschko, who also was present in 2004.

But, EuroMaidan took a dark side in the early hours of Saturday.

Just hours before the live broadcast of Junior Eurovision 2013, the riot police (Berkut) forcibly dispersed the protestors from the square.The act lead to dozens of injuries and hospitalizations, two of which were Polish citizens.

The act can be viewed here:

 

 

 

The ousted protestors quickly found a new maidan to assemble in, this time in “Михайлівський майдан,” or St. Michael’s square.  The numbers there have quickly grown to over 10,000, with Ruslana joining them. Ruslana was indeed at the new EuroMaidan at the time of Junior Eurovision.

Ruslana has stated that a lack of voice is primarily the reason that she did not perform, an understandable consequence from the week of leading the protests.  Also, she stated, “I can not perform and entertain people when these things are going on in this country.”

Ruslana has since cancelled all concerts and appearances for the month of December.

 

Source Photo courtesy: ruslana.ua

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