Russian military finalise plans for Eurovision-style contest

The Russian military’s plans to hold a Eurovision-style competition are progressing, with a spokesman saying that the competition was being finalised and that “the first qualifying round could probably be held this year.”

Last year we reported on the Russian Ministry of Defence’s plans to stage a song contest for the military. Back then, Anton Gubankov, the head of the defence ministry’s culture department, told media, “We want to unite the Moscow stage leading military song and dance from around the world.”

Polina Gagarina: the non-military option.

Polina Gagarina: star of the civilian song contest

Gubankov has now revealed the latest status of the competition. He says the idea for the competition originally came from the Minister of Defence, Sergei Shoigu. The contest will be run in conjunction with the military television channel Zvezda.

The contest will have a focus on Russian culture, with Gubankov saying “Eurovision may be okay, but, with so many nationalities and ethnicities in Russia, as well as specific regions, our motherland is an entirely self-sufficient world.” There’s no word whether it will be open to other countries, though it’s thought that former Soviet nations will be welcome.

While a military song contest might be at odds with the peaceful message of Polina Gagarina’s song “A Million Voices”, there is a long history of military bands. The Russian military has also hosted a smaller song contest for children and youth.

And if they’re looking for their first contestant, there’s a good candidate right in front of them. As well as being the head of the military’s culture department, Anton Gubankov is also a skilled rapper. In 2013 he starred in an army promotion video, rapping about the benefits of the army while seated at his desk. 12 points, Anton!

What do you think of the Russian military’s plans to hold a song competition? Is there another Polina Gagarina waiting to be discovered in the military? Share your comments below!

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