Ukraine Russia Eurovision 2020

On Wednesday 17 October, Ukraine unveiled its plans for Eurovision 2020. The country’s act will be chosen through the popular Vidbir format yet again. But there is one big change.

Following last year’s debacle, organisers have inserted a new clause whereby artists who have performed in Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 cannot participate.

And in one fell swoop, a whole swathe of the Ukrainian music scene was blocked from entering.

Here are ten familiar faces who can’t participate in the upcoming series of Vidbir, even if they wanted to.

Note, this list is not exhaustive.

10 acts that can’t enter Ukraine’s Vidbir 2020 Eurovision selection

Maruv

It was because of her Russian links that Maruv’s 2019 victory caused so much controversy. And in the months since, the “Siren Song” singer’s bonds with Russia have only become stronger. She’s even been nominated for the Best Russian Act at the MTV EMAs.

Jamala

The Eurovision 2016 winner and Vidbir judge performed in Russia twice in 2014. First in Moscow and again in Sochi, on New Year’s Eve. However, her team has said that this was to fulfil pre-existing contractual obligations. She has not performed inside Russia since.

Verka Serduchka

Jamala’s fellow Vidbir panellist is no stranger to Russia either. Although Verka went five years without performing there. However, the streak came to an end in 2018 when the drag artist performed at a New Wave after-party in Sochi.

Ani Lorak

Arguably, Ukraine’s most successful Eurovision alum, Ms Lorak is effectively completely based in Russia these days. Eurovision 2008’s “Shady Lady” continues to tour the region, attend award shows and make TV appearances. In 2015, she even held a show at the Kremlin.

Svetlana Loboda

Like Lorak, Loboda also operates primarily in Russia. The Eurovision 2009 singer has seen her star grow ever brighter in the region, topping the charts on numerous occasions. And in 2017 she too performed for audiences at the Kremlin.

Alekseev

He’s the Ukrainian that famously represented Belarus at Eurovision 2018. And he definitely won’t be repping his homeland soon. As recently as August 2019 he performed in Moscow’s Gorky Park.

The Hardkiss

The Hardkiss very nearly went to Eurovision 2016, tying with Jamala for the top spot in the Vidbir final. However, they lost out due to a lower televote score. Any plans of a Eurovision comeback would be scuppered by a June 2014 appearance at Moscow’s annual Park Live Fest.

Sofia Tarasova

The 18-year-old represented Ukraine on home soil at Junior Eurovision 2013. But a stint on The Voice of Russia in 2018 will put paid to any intentions she might have of entering the adult version. For what it’s worth, she reached the semi-finals on The Voice.

Freedom-Jazz Band

The Vidbir 2019 runners-up turned down the offer to go to Eurovision after Maruv withdrew. But they too have performed in Russia, including a June 2018 dinner show in Moscow.

Max Barskih

A runner-up in the country’s 2012 selection, Max Barskih has gone on to become one of the region’s biggest popstars. As a result, he’s performed extensively throughout Russia, including tours in 2017 and 2018.

What do you think of the new rules? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow is all of our Ukraine Eurovision 2020 news.

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Khaski
Khaski
1 year ago

If Alyona Alyona decides to participate this all won’t matter a bit because there will not be a contest and all other contestants may as well just quit.

Airell RM
Airell RM
1 year ago

On one hand, good. It will increase the chance we’re going to hear the Ukrainian language again since Russia 2009. Also, that means KAZKA, LETAY and some other favourites of mine last year will have a better chance 😉

On the other hand, Idk if the EBU will let them get away with these rules, even though I do get that Ukraine is still in a state of war with Russia.

debra
debra
1 year ago
Reply to  Airell RM

the EBU do not get involved in how people organise their local TV shows used to select an entry -0 this was made clear this year with the whole Vidbir debacle.

It only becomes the EBUs business once a song is submitted to them as an entry to their competition

oli
oli
1 year ago

The fact that EBU allows this just blows my mind. It goes against everything Eurovision represents, join cultures, bring people together… seriously this is unacceptable at so many levels 🙁

Ana
Ana
1 year ago
Reply to  oli

When Hattari openly made political statements before and during the contest, with full support from the Icelandic public and broadcaster, ultimately ending with the Palestinian flags on live tv, why most of the fans were so cool with it? Why Ukraine, that is in war, can’t make some bold political statements, but freaking Iceland, that I don’t recall to be in war with Israel, makes all this political s^*t show using ESC and everybody is cool with that? Why Iceland is even still in the contest after 2019?

debra
debra
1 year ago
Reply to  oli

You need to bear in mind that this has nothing to do with the EBU – it’s not their show or their rules. It only becomes their business once an entry is submitted. How local organisations choose their song is their own affair!

Aris Odi
Aris Odi
1 year ago

Most Ukrainian artists rely on Russia for their careers.

Jack
Jack
1 year ago

So this means that they will kick Jamala from the jury? If so, thats great news

Tom
Tom
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack

also Verka will be kicked

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

Vidbir 2019 –> 1600 entries in total (including ineligible ones).

Vidbir 2020 –> more then 800 entries (as of 14:00 yesterday).

Yees nq, nobody will participate. Keep going. Scandal with Maruv only raised interest to the selection

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

As the saying goes: quality before quantity.

Ana
Ana
1 year ago
Reply to  James

Russian pop industry is a horror show. It’s like they took all the worst stuff from the Americans without taking the good stuff. If you’re successfully performing in there, that doesnt mean at all that you’re a good artists.

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago

I guess most of us can understand why the broadcaster doesn’t want to be represented by someone that has ongoing connections with the country Ukraine is currently at war with. So I think the problem is how clumsy the broadcaster has been while dealing with it. If they have actual reasons to believe a particular artist is supporting Russian interests, just don’t invite them to perform at Vidbir. Don’t interrogate them in live TV or announce a rule that equals performing an isolated concert in Russia to being favorable to Russian government’s actions.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

this will definitely make it harder for them to do well but i confide they’ll manage to come up with sumthin worthy anyway. i kinda got how much they dislike russians when i noticed they sell toilet paper with putin’s face everywhere in ukraine.

Magistr
Magistr
1 year ago

Russian troll… nobody needs toilet paper with putin’s face here

ErikSWE
ErikSWE
1 year ago

Dear Ukraine, this is not how to do it. You will outshine Russia any time in Eurovision, do it with a friendly mocking smile and laugh at their troll armies.

San Marino 2021
San Marino 2021
1 year ago

If they run out of singers to convince, they could always settle for their own President instead. After all, the dude was a celebrity for most of his life. I’m sure he can come up with an entry that’s just as good as a Verka Serduchka entry (pity that we can’t see Verka compete for Ukraine anymore because of the current rules of the country’s NFs), if we consider his background in comedy. If he does well enough, we might be in for a Kyiv 2021.

Ioana IV
Ioana IV
1 year ago

If all else fails, they can always go for Vasilije Ojdanic. But that would require them to open their NFs to people outside of Ukraine, you know, ala Switzerland or Moldova?

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Ioana IV

Is that guy still alive? ?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
1 year ago

Wasn’t Russia even represented by a Ukranian when they hosted? On home ground, no less.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

2009 were different times, they were still bffs, then russia tried to snatch ukraine’s land and here we are. would u forgive your friend for trying to snatch your hair? i don’t think so

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
1 year ago

No way. I have rather thin hair that are a nightmare to style, if anything, my friends should give me some of theirs. However, when it comes to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, I don’t think it’s such a black and white issue. I for one don’t feel informed enough to have an unshakable opinion here. Granted, there was no referendum on my hair yet.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

what both russia n ukraine should do but aren’t doing is wear a wig with style. i hope the metaphor is clear enough!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
1 year ago

Nobody should wear a wig unless they’re cancer patients, maybe. This metaphor doesn’t work for me, I find wigs and their clientele awful.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
1 year ago

LOL What a fun hypocrisy on Jamala’s part. As for the others mentioned, this list just shows how out of control this broadcaster is. None of them did anything wrong. I’m starting to wish Ukraine would just be axed from Eurovision.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
1 year ago

I’m afraid it might hurt them in Eurovision and destroy their perfect qualification streak, let alone their quality entries
Ukraine’s my favourite Eurovision country, please don’t ruin it because of politics

olvrFIN
olvrFIN
1 year ago

People don’t seem to understand the difference between Russia as a country at Eurovision, Russian artists and the Russian government. Everyone complain over the fact that Eurovision is sometimes too political while the very same people hate Russian entries and don’t want that specific artist and song to win just because of Russian politics: decisions made by a rather small amount of people. I’m not trying, in any way, to defend the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, which I strongly condemn. I’m trying to defend Russian artists. And this one big thing. On this page, you automatically get so many dislikes… Read more »

Tetjana
Tetjana
1 year ago

I think most europeans these days forgot what the word WAR means. It means every day in my feed i see faces of 20year olds who were killed by russia. People who get upset over this rule are frankly pompous, over-privileged, and take peace for granted. Vidbir is first and foremost a platform to showcase new Ukrainian acts before UKRAINIANS. This rule will give opportunities to new artists, so as a Ukrainian im very much for it.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
1 year ago

Look, I totally understand where this rule is coming from from an Ukrainian perspective; they are at war after all. However, I think that creating this rule goes against the core idea of uniting countries and singers from those countries. UA:PBC knows that the biggest market for Ukrainian artists is in Russia, so I just see this rule as them shooting themselves in the foot.

Ella
Ella
1 year ago

How many thousands of euros were those suitcases with gifts you guys got from the Russian delegation again?

Joseph Mendy
Joseph Mendy
1 year ago

Well there goes my support for Ukraine next year.

Hanna
Hanna
1 year ago

Is this journalism?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
1 year ago
Reply to  Hanna

Certainly more so than the tabloid articles about unimportant wannabes. This is actually relevant.

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

Did you just call Aly Ryan irrelevant?

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago

Mmmmm, this is gonna be the thing that finally gets Ukraine to NQ

Vlad
Vlad
1 year ago

I heard that rules forbid participating only artists who performed on events organized by Russian government or TV-channels. Maybe just a fact of traveling and performing in Russian on private party or event will not count.

Vasilije Ambion
Vasilije Ambion
1 year ago

Unless, they manage to reel in some folks from Sweden to help them come up with a better NF. But they’ll have to shell out a lot of money for that, of course.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

lmao nobody needs swedes to do well, especially now that swedish type of pop isn’t cool anymore

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago

I sometimes feel this site has very much a pro-Russia agenda… a lot of the writers don’t understand the feelings in the post-Soviet countries towards Russian colonialism of our countries, specifically in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

Before anybody accuses me of being anti-Russia, my father was born in Russia so I am half Russian and I have family in Russia, but first and foremost I am a Lithuanian so I know both perspectives

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
1 year ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

After the shenanigans UA:PBC pulled last year, almost everyone has turned anti-Ukraine.

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago

And you’re just running into Putin’s hands

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 year ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

I mean yeah, but Ukranian people don’t really care if you perform in Russia or not, I mean last year Maruv won the televote – and everyone knew she is performing in Russia(a lot), like it has nothing to do with politics, it’s just the fact. Plus a lot of Ukranians are working in Russia

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Most Lithuanians speak a good level of Russian, and we enjoy Russian TV and music, and many here are ethnic Russian, however we weigh that up with what Russia has done to our country over the past 250 years. That is mostly the same in Ukraine and Moldova, we have a love for Russian culture but not for the Russian state. Sadly, the two are becoming more and more interlinked so it is becoming harder and harder in Lithuania, the Baltics, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to justify this

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

y’all PRETEND u don’t speak russian…. i tried to communicate in basic russian with a lady in kaunas and she’d rather use sign language than spit out a word in r*ssian

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago

Ahaha you’re right, it is more a matter of pride than anything, many Lithuanians would rather speak Swahili but really everyone knows at least basic Russian… we normally speak it in front of kids when we don’t want them to understand us

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 year ago

Put Russia and Ukraine on a alternating system for instance Russia competes one year and Ukraine the next and it cuts out all of the pseudo political bs

All
All
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

That makes it seem like Ukraine and Russia are interchangeable. Ukraine is a sovereign nation. Russia can’t take whatever they want. We need to support Ukrainians who support Ukraine.

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago

Well it looks all the more likely that Tayanna could finally represent Ukraine in 2020

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago

Why participate then? I mean, these countries don’t know or don’t care about the real meaning of the contest. It’s beyond ridiculous.

Katariina
Katariina
1 year ago

Kinda hypocritical that two of the panelists don’t even pass this test.

West
West
1 year ago
Reply to  Katariina

If only panelist – when even the winner of esc can’t compete again, then it’s hypocritical.

Jai
Jai
1 year ago

Will Jamala and Andriy Danylko (Verka) no longer be allowed to serve as judges now because of the rules? Or is this law only applied selectively?

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Jai

They’re not participating as contestants so I think they’re good. But someone mentioned that the panel might get revamped so either or both Jamala and Andriy may be replaced.

jlejf;ldjf;a
jlejf;ldjf;a
1 year ago
Reply to  James

i could go without jamala as a juror next year

Jai
Jai
1 year ago

This new rule is ridiculous. I understand the motivation for it but it would affect many innocent artists who have done nothing wrong. Two of my favorite countries in Eurovision have always been Bulgaria and Ukraine. Its sad now to see one of them be financially bankrupt and the other one artistically bankrupt

Meliris
Meliris
1 year ago

Just send Melovin again… 😀

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
1 year ago
Reply to  Meliris

After him getting such a bad jury score last time i doubt he’ll be considered

Trash KAN
Trash KAN
1 year ago

How about Olya Polyakova? She participated in the 2012 national final and is also popular in Ukraine. I have no idea if she had any concerts in Russia.

Kimmora
Kimmora
1 year ago

I want to see Laud representing them <3

Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting
Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting
1 year ago
Reply to  Kimmora

Absolutely…me too!!!

James
James
1 year ago

So I guess Kadnay, Kazka, Laud, and Tayanna are on the clear.

Joe
Joe
1 year ago
Reply to  James

And Brunettes Shoot Blondes!

James
James
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

I almost forgot to mention Letay.

Airell RM
Airell RM
1 year ago
Reply to  James

Yes, I’m praying for Kazka and Letay especially <3!

Ugna
Ugna
1 year ago

I hope Tayanna or Kazka will get the chance to represent Ukraine next year:):)

Stevan
Stevan
1 year ago

In conclusion:
Ukraine is shooting itself in the foot

Vlad
Vlad
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevan

Neither of those artists were interested in participation though to be honest…

Maybe Alekseev and Freedom Jazz, but I wouldn’t think they can get good result on ESC.

Stevan
Stevan
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad

I mean these are just examples. There are many more artists that are just not eligible anymore. They are really making their pool of artists smaller and this might be the thing to make them nq for the first time

Olaf
Olaf
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevan

Their only chance is Tayanna. That’s it. They might as well revert to internal selection AND pick Tayanna. That should solve their “boo hoo we might be NQ’d” problem.