To say it has been a rough week for Ukraine would be an understatement. The first scandal arose on Monday, February 25, when Ukraine’s Eurovision representative MARUV, who had won her place in the song contest just two days prior, announced that she was pulling out of the contest. The singer, known also by her real name Hanna Korsun, was unable to reach an agreement with Ukraine’s public broadcaster, which allegedly took issue with her past a previous gigs in Russia.
READ MORE: Ukraine Withdraws From Eurovision 2019
MARUV took to Instagram to explain the situation, commenting that she did not want to be “enslaved” by some clauses of the agreement, which she believed would make her a “tool in the political arena.” After the national heat’s runners-up all refused the public broadcaster’s offers to replace MARUV amid debates over Ukraine’s history of politicizing the song contest, the news broke that Ukraine would not be participating at all.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was also faced with a difficult situation this week. An investigation by Ukrainian media outlet Bihus.info revealed that his ally and deputy secretary of the country’s National Security and Defense Council Oleg Gladkovsky was embroiled in an embezzlement scheme, which involved smuggling Russian military equipment into Ukraine. According to Bihus.info, the scheme netted at least $9 million.
With the presidential elections looming, this could be potentially devastating for the incumbent. His opponent, former prime minister and Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko, was quick to accuse Poroshenko of treason and call for his impeachment. In attempt to control the damage, the presidential spokesperson expressed the president’s support of Gladkovsky’s removal from office.
On this week’s Sunday Show we’ll be discussing the fallout from the week’s political drama, what this means now for Ukraine and how the country will recover. Joining us will be: board member of Ukraine's Public Broadcasting Company Sasha Koltsova, head of Ukraine's Eurovision delegation Oksana Skybinska, music journalist and co-founder of Comma Sergey Cane, French independent journalist and co-founder of Daleko-Blisko collective Sébastien Gobert, journalist at BIHUS.info Lesya Ivanova and Research and Advocacy Manager at the Independent Defense Anti-Corruption Committee Lada Roslycky.