Ukrainian singer Hanna Korsun (better known as her stage name MARUV) won't represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2019. This emerged from a statement by Ukraine's National Public Broadcasting Channel UA:PBC who organize the national selection for the contest.
Singer MARUV performs at "Vecherniy Urgant," a TV program on Russia's state-owned First channel. Photo: Facebook / MARUV
According to UA:PBC, they couldn't reach an agreement with the singer. The bone of contention was the singer's previous and upcoming concerts in Russia, the military actions of which have resulted in a war in the eastern part of Ukraine.
UA:PBC said that they could not find common ground with Korsun regarding the "mission of a Ukrainian representative at the international song contest." The broadcaster cited "the impetus within the society, pressure attempts from political forces and [Russia's] intervention into the discussion" as the factors politicizing the national selection result. And, according to the Eurovision rules, the participating broadcaster needs to "ensure the apolitical character of the contest," they added.
MARUV – whose videos have millions of views on YouTube attracting fans from Ukraine and beyond – has been regularly going to Russia for concerts. She also has even more Russian concerts planned, including a solo one in Moscow this April. When asked about the concerts during the national selection program that she went on to win, she explained it with “bringing peace to the two countries in such a way.” She also said that you “can’t judge the entire country by one person – its president."
"Fighting for peace is like f**king for virginity. Nothing can ever be solved with fighting," Korsun told Ukrainian news site Telegid in a video comment.
According to the singer, UA:PBC asked her to sign a contract, which she declared "violation of human rights" and an "attempt to force her to withdraw." Her meeting with the representatives of the channel lasted seven hours, she said. She agreed to stop touring in Russia (one of the demands) but was unhappy with the pressure that she received.
“I feel pressure! And I see blatant attempts to force me to withdraw from representing my country at the international song contest Eurovision 2019," Korsun wrote on Facebook on February 25.
A breach of any of the points mentioned in the contract would allegedly result in a 2 million hryvnia fine (around $74,300) that she would have to pay, as well as a monetary compensation, the size of which she did not clarify.
MARUV performs her "Siren song" during the national selection's final on UA:PBC channel on February 23.
According to Korsun's Facebook statement, the contract included approving her entire performance with the UA:PBC, as well as any interaction with media during the contest. She also said in her earlier post that she wanted to represent Ukraine at the contest despite "receiving offers to represent three different countries within [the last] 24 hours."
According to UA:PBC journalist Volodymyr Fomichov, the broadcaster will "start selecting the new [Ukrainian] participant" on February 26.
/By Maria Romanenko