Last August Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture published a list of Russian singers and actors whose work it had banned from cinemas, radio and television.

At that time roughly 7,000 people had died during skirmishes in Ukraine’s Eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where fighting started in April 2014, just weeks before Eurovision, and the list was meant to help screen out “security threats”.

Now, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture Eugene Nyschuk has publicly confirmed that artists on this list will not be admitted to the country if they are selected for Eurovision.

The comments came during Friday’s host city announcement in Kyiv, after a journalist asked about artists on this blacklist. Here’s what Nyschuk said, as reported by Russia’s Rambler.

If Russia chooses such a performer – it would be a deliberate provocation. In Russia there are many artists who understand that peace is the most important thing, that you can not speak the language of aggression and belittle some nations, especially neighbours, and it is necessary to speak in a professional way – through music and singing. There can be no compromises – for example, Iosif Kobzon, if he is selected, will not be allowed to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine.

The list includes more than 80 cultural figures, including the singers Oleg Gazmanov, Iosif Kobzon, Valery Joseph Prigogine, Mikhail Boyarsky, Grigory Leps and Nikolay Rastorguev — the lead singer of the group Lyube.

The French actor Gerard Depardieu, who became a Russian citizen in 2013, is also on the list.

It’s unlikely that any of these artists would be chosen for Eurovision. But the Minister of Culture’s language during yesterday’s briefing was quite provocative for an event that is meant to be apolitical. Some of the artists named have already suggested that Russia should withdraw from Eurovision 2017.

Jon Ola Sand is not impressed.

As Kyiv SSI reports, the executive producer of Eurovision told the TSS news agency that the EBU “will engage in constructive dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that all delegates and artists can come and stay in Ukraine.”

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an esc fan
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an esc fan

As if Russia would pick Gerard Depardieu.

random.sage2.5
Guest

I doubt Russia’s would pick anyone from this article but Ukraine should chill out with the mentions.

Still, if they didn’t say anything, there’s not telling what Russia would do…

ESC84
Guest
ESC84

In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats

oooops
Guest
oooops

Well, let’s just say that we move the contest to Düsseldorf! Neither Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan or Armenia will withdraw in that case.

Julie
Guest
Julie

Ukraine won Eurovision with politics, by their not-so-subtle jab at current events and feeding into the narrative that Russians are the “bad guys”. Well, hosting Eurovision might actually backfire on them, as there will now be a spotlight blaring on Ukraine, perhaps finally showing the true picture. I hope the world wakes up to see what is really going on in Ukraine, and not what western media has been feeding us all these years. Out of this fiasco, I hope some light will be shed.

Nirgal
Guest
Nirgal

Do they realize that they’re serving drama in a silver platter to Russia? Justified or not, I don’t think this is a smart movement, it can be used against them in many ways.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

JJ you are brave to say that, indeed, Joe Biden son has business in Ukraine.

jj
Guest
jj

People here are ignorant that most all the people killed in Eastern Ukraine have been killed by the Kiev government soldiers. They are shelling the civilian apartments, homes and infrastructure because the people in Eastern Ukraine are not anti-Russian, plus they were supporters of the Ukrainian president who was overthrown in a U.S./EU backed coup.
The U.S. installed a puppet government, and right after that Ukraine’s gold reserves disappeared. Evidence points to it being flown to New York.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

It is true that Ukraine makes weird things that should be changed, but even so, no matter what, I still support the idea that the winner must host next year. It is about multiculturalism and even if something is wrong in a country, ESC can help change that. For example gay rights. I don’t know the law in Ukraine, but many people have negative reaction when they see same sex kiss. ESC can help change that perception. Wherever it goes, ESC can make cultural changes for the best.

karminowe.usta
Guest
karminowe.usta

In my opinion this idea is curiosal! Even artist can represent Russia at Eurovision. Culture is culture, politcs are politcs.

Guliguli
Guest
Guliguli

@SmerWine=Plum After all Russia can take part in Asiavision.

SmerWine=Plum
Guest
SmerWine=Plum

Russian media announced yesterday that EBU was NEGOTIATING with Ukraine on the subject… As if there is something to negotiate. Ridiculous.
Some years sgo Russian artists were banned to enter Latvia and as the result the New Wave festival was taken from Jurmala to Sochi. Nobody suffered, the festival became even greater and Latvian participants are welcomed there just as all the others.
In the current situatuon I think the best thing Russia can do is to witgdraw from ESC without any statements and negotiations and let Ukraine try to organize a good anti-Russin contest. This is what they want in fact.

MoolTickNick
Guest
MoolTickNick

Ukrainians are quite illogical. They say that Russia is the aggressor, providing with no evidence (21st century, GPS, satellites, Wikileaks, hackers, spies and no evidence). Meanwhile 4 million citizens of Ukraine (!) are currently working in Russia as gastarbeiters. What if Russia bans all of them?

MoolTickNick
Guest
MoolTickNick

Ukraine is an anarchy. Everything is decided by various groups there. A couple of weeks ago the building of the most powerful TV station Inter was burnt and the police closed their eyes to it, because the minister of interim affairs was the one who provoked that action. Why? Because the law doesn’t allow someone to burn a TV station because of the latter’s views. Not being familiar with Inter, one may think that the station’s politics was extremist or radical. NO! They are the same fake propaganda factory like NTU, 1+1, Ukraina and others. They burnt the channel just… Read more »

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Well if Jon Ola Sand will avoid it’s solution that may cause russian withdrawal. Besides this future scandal does work in Russia’s favor it remains being a facepunch in their huge media and artists who’s acting against their neighbour country as it works for Ukraine’s rift. No surprise at all.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Stupid Ukraine, because of it, estern countries will not win the next years, and is not fair. What happens in Ukraine are just the leftovers of a way of thinking from a dead era.

Avstriya
Guest
Avstriya

Well said, Lawren. I feel compelled to silently applaud. But do not expect wiwibloggs do adress “anything” critical towards the EBU. Because EBU is not going to sanction its paying member states, but critical fansites by banning them from the press centre.

Lawren90
Guest
Lawren90

Honestly.. what exactly is the EBU thinking? They are completely useless. Under the presidency of Jon Ola Sand, we’ve had many countries breach all sorts of rules. Countries that have banned other countries’ performances (Armenia-Azerbaijan) (Israel), Eurovision being broadcast with people talking during the performances (Italy), Not broadcasting LIVE a semifinal they are supposed to vote in (Spain) and the biggest of them all… a country won by means of foul play (mobiles being bought abroad/telephone lines/juries questionable votings) – (Azerbaijan)… EBU always answers with either, a sanction will be imposed ( we never get to hear which one it… Read more »

EBU punish Ukraine for this
Guest
EBU punish Ukraine for this

EBU gave thanks to overrated points by juries victory for Ukraine (we all know before final that Australia and Ukraine wili be overrated in juries points and Russia not ) and now they gave to Ukraine ministri decide who s singer from Russia can sing for Russia at Eurovision 2017.
If we had blacklisted artist and they can sing for Russia at Eurovision, EBU must punish Ukraine and gave to other country to host Eurovision 2017.

MTD
Guest
MTD

@Plum – you are correct.

Everyone seems to hate Russia for no apparent reason, loudly speaking against them and doing things against them, while everything that Ukraine does goes “unnoticed” while the same is ludicrous.

Actually, if you ever been to Moscow and opened Grindr, you would have seen that guys over there are pretty free and everyone shows their face. Laws against gay ppl? You are really fed with anti-Russian propaganda.

Hopefully, you’ll learn things as they are, not as they are served to you from Western media. 😉

SmerWine=Plum
Guest
SmerWine=Plum

@EF0912
If Russia were to host, something similar would be in place.
What makes you think so?
The day before ESC Grand Final Alasania claimed that if Russia won the contest Ukraine wouldn’t participate in 2017. Were there similar claims from Russia? No.
Were Ukranian artists prevented from participating in childten’s or adults New Wave festivals held in Russia? No.
Why are Ukranian artists touring in Russia regarded as betrayers in Ukraine and Russian ones can tour wherever they want? Guess.
The two countries cannot be even compared in their approach.

Ern
Guest
Ern

This issue is complicated. It’s one thing if the artist actively promotes violence, or if the artist is financially supporting a rebellion. This would certainly be a security risk, and the Ukraine would be justified in banning them. However, a mere opinion expressing support for Russia does not rise to the level of a security risk. For example, Gerard Depardieu, rightly or wrongly, merely defended Russia’s actions. There is nothing that Depardieu did that would places a Ukrainian citizen (or anyone) in harm, nor would his words encourage more fighting. What is worse, the Ukraine placed a ban on the… Read more »

Lina
Guest
Lina

Well let´s see why singer Valeriya on the blacklist list? Btw she was the mentor of Ukrainian Voice, took part in many Ukrainians TV shows, had there a big number of concerts. Because she congratulated the people of crimea on a referendum. She NEVER EVER said bad things about Ukraine… It´s called freedom of speech, isn’t it?

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

I’m not surprised and not really bothered about this. If Russia were to host, something similar would be in place. I don’t think Russia will win next year – it’ll be a western country because the EBU must be fed up of this political nonsense. I’m still confident Ukraine will put on a great show but be prepared for some political tones.

Gav
Guest
Gav

So I ok think I’m placing a bet already that Russia will win this year. Then we have one more year of malice and then cross fingers somewhere such as Spain, Portugal or Switzerland win and I can feel like having a good time again without fearing the prejudice and akwardness of a colourful entertaining stage mixed with “the killing of the people”.

Darren
Guest
Darren

What did people expect? Of course Ukraine will have political sentiment with the country that they are basically at war with.
This is only the tip of a massive ice berg. Wait until May and we will see how apolitical they can be. Well done for voting for Ukraine to win ESC 2016 people…well done.

Mil
Guest
Mil

@Bermooda. Porechenkov.

Racal
Guest
Racal

@Logan: Hating Russia “for no apparent reason”? Invading another European country, supporting dictators in Syria, passing laws against gay “propaganda”, making aggressive statements against the West, imprisoning political competitors, threatening Finland if they join the NATO, … I would not call that “for no apparent reason”!

Now I’m not saying all Russians are like that, most of them are probably just like other Europeans: peaceful and don’t care about politics. But still, their government looks pretty nasty.

Racal
Guest
Racal

What did you expect? Ukraine has been at war for almost 3 years, they’re not going to stop everything and make peace with Russia for the sake of a TV show. And stop saying Eurovision is apolitical… They PRESENT themselves as apolitical, but they have never been (the mere fact that Ukraine won with a song in Crimean, right after Crimea was seized by Russia, should give a hint).

Craig
Guest
Craig

This is going to be a disaster……

Bermooda
Guest
Bermooda

They banned only those Russians who use their original right of free speech. But there is no freedom of speech in Ukraine.

Bermooda
Guest
Bermooda

@Mil those who were on video shooting from guns together with Russian-supported terrorists and rebels, as some of Russian artists did.

WHO?!

Bouke
Guest
Bouke

Not all Russian artists are banned, just a few. Russia has enough artist, so I don’t care.

Avstriya
Guest
Avstriya

This from a country which won with a provoking song against Russia in the first place *facepalm*

Logan
Guest
Logan

Remember when everyone was hating Russia for no apparent reason other than the fact that it was Russia. Well, Ukraine may be worse and certainly less democratic than Russia. Wins with a political song, took months and the involvement and corruption of politicians to allocating a host city and now is banning artists from another country….this is definitely not the end.

SmerWine=Plum
Guest
SmerWine=Plum

@Paul
Who told you thisKirkorov is not banned, so he can come and perform 3 songs instead of 1 specially for you. We all know that it will be against rules but we also know by now that ruls can be easily broken?
Btw it is a bad argument to use words like “crap” etc. in relation to any artist whether you like him or not and it is not very ethycal, is it?

fikri
Guest
fikri

wow ukraine just can’t stop getting itself into controversy, can it?

D
Guest
D

This is no different from any other no-fly list. Why should the government of Ukraine allow people who potentially pose a threat to Ukrainian security just so they can take part in a television show. I’m not on any side, but I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. There are many international celebrities banned from entering China (for much lesser reasons than these Russian artists), and that’s not a big deal. Anyways, it seems most of these Russian celebrities banned from entering Ukraine are from a much older generation, so I don’t think Russia was going to… Read more »

ESC84
Guest
ESC84

The Ukrainian government try so hard to make racism to Russian become normal

Leo Valdez
Guest
Leo Valdez

People act like Ukraine banned all Russians from the country
I don’t know why everything happens fans blame Ukraine
It’s just so stupid

Paul
Guest
Paul

Thanks God we won’t see Kirkorov’s sh#t next year.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

If they banned all Russians I’d say there would be a problem, but if it’s just pro nationalists who bash Ukraine I can understand. This is far less unreasonable than Azerbaijan who ban all Armenians from their country…or make a million people homeless to build the crystal palace.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I`m sorry, we can`t let them in. They supported those horrible acts of agression that our country suffered from Russia. If such things would happen with your home you d also not want to see such people in your country no matter what.

Ivan
Guest
Ivan

Dear William,
I respect Eurovision rules as Bible or Constitution and can’t imagine my life without ESC. I have one question to you: “would you let in your house a person who disrespects you, who says that you’re nobody and you shouldn’t exist “?
Thank you

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

This reminds me of those petty Arabian country banning people with an Israeli visa on their passport (!!!) from entering.
Watch the European media turn against the poor sis Ukraine in favor of Russia, prompting it to win the 2017 contest. Now THAT would be a reverse warholian expedition.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Adam Collins, you rabble rouser, what part of that seems like a good idea to you?

Mil
Guest
Mil

@where is the logic
Ukraine’s Prime Minister is Jewish – nazi government, you say? I can’t with some people.
We can’t except those artists who said on public that such country as Ukraine doesn’t exist, that there isn’t such nation as Ukrainians, or openly supported the annexation of Crimea, or came to Donetsk and Lugansk with concerts, or those who were on video shooting from guns together with Russian-supported terrorists and rebels, as some of Russian artists did.
If this will result in cancelling Eurovision in Ukraine – then ok, not a big price for our dignity.

Alvaricomg
Guest
Alvaricomg

Russia is not going to withdraw, now Russia do EVERYTHING that they can to win Eurovision this year

MTD
Guest
MTD

To the ones who still defend Ukraine and will do that – f**k off. LOL

Adam Collins
Guest
Adam Collins

Russia should exploit this. Pick someone on the list do it through a national final where the public vote and if Ukraine try and say this person is banned then the contest is taken away from them as they will have broken the rules by not allowing another countries entrant into the contest.