Belarus Protests And Eurovision

Often labelled “Europe’s last dictatorship”, Belarus usually receives little international attention outside of its often memorable appearances on the Eurovision stage.

However, for over a week now, the eastern European country has been making headlines globally as unprecedented levels of anti-government protests spill onto the streets.

Here’s an overview of what’s happening along with reactions from Eurovision personalities both inside and outside Belarus.

Protests in Belarus

What is happening in Belarus?

In the capital Minsk, as well as smaller towns and cities, locals have taken to the streets in numbers rarely seen before. At night, these gatherings have witnessed riot police violence and bloodshed, leading to the deaths of several Belarusian citizens.

Initially, it was a protest against the official exit poll results after the 9 August elections. Gatherings have since shifted their themes to broader goals, such a the ability to protest peacefully and to be able to speak one’s mind, alongside the previous goals of free and fair elections.

As a result of the riot police’s role in the protests, a captain in the Belarusian police force decided to leave his post after more than 17 years of service. This action started a movement of riot policemen leaving their posts and sharing videos of themselves throwing their uniforms in the bin.

This movement extended further towards other state sectors, for example, the state television.

How is the Belarusian state broadcaster connected to the protests?

While tens of thousands of peaceful protesters gathered on the streets throughout Belarus after the election, the subsequent BTRC news programme Panorama mostly focused on other topics, portraying those who took to the street as “hooligans”.

Meanwhile, access to other news sources was blocked. Between 9 and 12 August, most Belarusians had very limited access to the internet through mobile data and were not able to use most social media, except for Telegram. At the same time, critical local news portals and newspapers — such as TUT.by and Nasha Niva — were unreachable. They continue to be blocked periodically.

A report made by the Belarusian state broadcaster featuring a group of young people apologising for protesting led to severe criticism from both local and international journalists, politicians and observers.

Eurovision personalities react

Junior Eurovision host Evgeny Perlin resigns

Long-term Belarusian Eurovision commentator and Junior Eurovision 2018 host Evgeny Perlin announced his departure from the Belarusian state television amid the ongoing protests in the country. The 12 August broadcast of his talk show Makayonka, 9 was his last.

It was enough for Evgeny Perlin. The Eurovision commentator also has duties as a newsreader on ATN Novosti, the main news branch of the Belarusian state broadcaster. In a statement on his personal Instagram page, Evgeny explained his decision.

“What became of my Belarus?

I worked on live television since 2009. News broadcasts, Dobraĭ Ranitsy, Belarus, Eurovision (both adult and children’s version). And the project, about which I have dreamt the most – my own late-night show, of which we shot two seasons. 70 episodes. We invited the coolest stars and young Belarusians, giving them the chance to sing live, have fun with interactions. And I only created, with our team, Makayonka, 9 as a result of the responses of our audience.

Now, not one of these projects calls for that emotion, about which we are thinking.

I decided, that tonight’s broadcast on Belarus-1 will be the last.
And nobody influenced me on that decision, I took it myself.
I hope that that same #MyCountryBelarus will return soon.”

View this post on Instagram

??? ????? ? ????? ?????????? ? ?? ??????????? ? ?????? ?????? ??????? ? 2009 ????. ???????, «??????? ???i??, ????????», ??????????? (? ????????, ? ???????). ? ??????, ? ??????? ??????? ?????? – ??????????? ???????? ???, ??????? ?? ??????? ??? ??????. 70 ????????. ?? ?????????? ?????? ?????? ? ??????? ?????????, ?????? ?? ??????????? ???? ??????, ?????????? ? ????????????. ? «?????????, 9» ? ???????? ? ?????? ????????? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ???????. ??????? ?? ???? ?? ??????????????? ???????? ?? ???????? ?? ??????, ???? ???????? ??? ????????????. ? ?????, ??? ???? ???????????? ???? ?? ????????-1 ??? ?????????. ?? ??? ??????? ????? ?? ???????, ? ?????? ??? ???. ???????, ??? ????? ????????? ?? ????? #??????i?????????? ??.

A post shared by ???????? ?????? (@perlinman) on

VAL (Belarus 2020)

“We can no longer watch how our society is divided along with the cries of Belarusian citizens, begging for RESPECT. We don’t want to wake up in the morning and call our friends and relatives just to find out if some of them had been looked for in the prisons. We don’t want to see fear and pain in the eyes of our people and questions: “What about me? What about my VOICE?”.”

View this post on Instagram

?? ????? ?????? ???????… ? ?? ??????? ??? ????????, ??? ???????? ????????????? ?? 2 ?????? ? ?? ?????, ??? ?? ???? ?????? ????????? ???? ?????? ?????, ?????? ??????? ?? ????????. ? ?? ?? ?????? ??????????? ????? ?, ?????????? ????? ???????, ????????, ??? ????-?? ?? ?????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ?? ??????????. ?? ?? ????? ?????? ? ?????? ????? ???????? ????? ? ????????????, ???? ? ??????: «? ??? ?? ?..? ? ??? ?? ??? ?????..?» ? ?? ?? ???????? ????? ??????? ???????, ??? ??? ?????? — ??? ?? ???. ?????? ?? ????? ???????, ? ??-???????? ??? ?? ?????. ?? ?????????? ??????????? ????? «????? ?? ?? ????????», ?? ?????????? ? ??????????? ?????? ?????? ? ??????????? ???????, ???????????, ??????? ????? ? ???????????, ?????? ???????? ???? ??????, ??? ?? ????? ????? ????????? ????????? ???????? ? ??????? ???????? ????????. ?? ????? ? ???? ?? ????? ???????. ??????? ???? ? Can’t keep silence anymore… ? We can’t no longer watch how our society is divided along with the cries of Belarusian citizens, begging for RESPECT. We don’t want to wake up in the morning and call our friends and relatives just to find out if some of them had been looked for in the prisons. We don’t want to see fear and pain in the eyes of our people and questions: “What about me? What about my VOICE?” But we sincerely want to tell everyone who reads this post – everything’s not in vain! The truth is on our side, and everything won’t be the same! We’ll stop using the phrase “Let’s not discuss this on the phone”, we’ll stop reading about the arrests of our girls, elder and young people, journalists who’re just doing their job. We’ll stop leaving our entrances open and close our flats with all the locks we have. We’ll be one with our nation. Forever. #prayforbelarus ? Ph: @volha.shukaila.pro

A post shared by VAL = VLAD & LERA ??? (@val.music) on

NAVIBAND (Belarus 2017)

Ilia Prusikin (Russia 2020)

“I couldn’t sleep normally in the last two days, seeing what is happening on the streets of Belarus. It doesn’t happen somewhere or with just somebody… It is our friends, our family, brothers and sisters. They try to kill them, try to, shoot into windows, break their property and put them into prisons.”

View this post on Instagram

? ?? ???? ????????? ????? ????????? ??? ???, ???? ??, ??? ?????????? ?? ?????? ????????. ??? ?????????? ?? ???-?? ??? ? ?? ? ??? ?? ??? … ??? ???? ??????, ??????, ?????? ? ??????. ?? ???????? ?????, ??????, ???????? ?? ?????, ?????? ?? ????????????? ? ?????? ? ??????! ? ?????? ????? ??????? ??? ???????? ????????? ?????? ??? ????? ???????????? ????, ???? ? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ??????? ? ?????? ?? ???????, ????????????? ?? ????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????, ?????????? ? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ???????????. ? ?????? ??? ????????? «?????» ? ?????. ????????, ????????, ?????? ? ?????????? ?????? ?? ?? ???????. ????? ? ????????? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?????, ???? ??? ?????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ? ?? ????? ????????? ?????????? ???????! ??? ?? ?? ??????????? ?? ?????? ??????. ? ??????, ??? ? ???? ?????????? ??????, ???? ?????? ????????????! ????????? ??????? ? ???????, ??????? ?? ????? ?????? ?????? ? ????? ???????????? ???????????. ? ????? ??????? ? ???? ? ??, ??? ????? ????? ??? ???????????, ???? ? ????? ?????? ????? ???????? ?? ???? «?????» ? ?????! ???? ????????!

A post shared by Ilia Prusikin / ???? ???????? (@iliyaprusikin) on

Alekseev (Belarus 2018)

“Everybody needs air. Without freedom, we choke.”

View this post on Instagram

???? ????? ??????. ??? ??????? ?? ??????????. ?? ? @skydan_l

A post shared by ALEKSEEV (@alekseev_officiel) on

Vova Karyakin of Litesound (Belarus 2012)

Could the protest impact on Belarus’ Eurovision and Junior Eurovision participation?

In the past, we’ve seen that internal tensions have led to countries withdrawing from both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision. A recent example of that is Ukraine, in which the tensions and its consequences eventually contributed to the local broadcaster having to withdraw twice within the space of five years — 2015 and 2019.

The current situation might make it hard for the broadcaster to organise a national final for a Eurovision event. Although Belarus has announced its Junior Eurovision plans, the broadcaster has yet to make any statements with regards to Eurovision 2021.

Do you want to know more about the situation in Belarus? The New York Times has written a concise overview of the situation leading up to the current state of affairs.

Read all our Belarus news here.

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Anthony
Anthony
1 month ago

This makes me want to listen 2 Naviband
(And hope for a free and democratic Belarus)

ESCSSS
ESCSSS
1 month ago

#FreeBelarus

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
1 month ago

I love Belarus!
Free Belarus!

filipko54
filipko54
1 month ago

I don’t know if she’s somehow connected to Eurovision, but Belarusian singer Rita Dakota recorded a song about the protests, you should definitely listen to it and watch the video on her instagram, it made me cry..
I’ve been following the situation even since before elections, I hope that everything will go well in Belarus as soon as possible.

tvescfan
tvescfan
1 month ago
Reply to  filipko54

She’s not connected with Eurovision but with Junior Eurovision (she co-wrote two songs for JESC (Russia 2016 and Belarus 2017)).

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

Hoping for justice and freedom for the Belarusian people. It’s heartening to see so many artists supporting democracy.

Olakawandi
Olakawandi
1 month ago

Let’s hope for a bright future for a free Belarus
Anyway, where’s Solayoh and Like It songstress? #flop

Marcelo
Marcelo
1 month ago

The Eastern Europe Spring really is here! Power to the people of Belarus in freeing themselves from that dictatorship! Belarusian Eurovision acts and characters supporting the democracy movement and endorsing change has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen as a fan, specially considering the huge risk that comes if the regime does end up staying in power and would probably ban any act or person who supported the movement from having a career in Belarus and/or the state broadcaster. Reminds me of when Ruslana became a central figure in the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine around 2013-2014.… Read more »

Jo.
Jo.
1 month ago

if Naviband get hurt I’m invading

acp
acp
1 month ago
Reply to  Jo.

Probably the best comment I have ever read in Wiwibloggs

Una
Una
1 month ago

Let me delete the comment as it could be a spoiler. The year of Eurovision again. Sorry!!!!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Una
Colin
Colin
1 month ago

My heart goes out to Belarus and it’s people. I am glad to see that the artists are more progressive thinking, but that’s often to be expected. I hope the things get better and that violence ends. Belarus has been suffering for far too long.
By the words of Molly, POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Hi Colin!! I don’t want to threadjack (apologies if so) but there was something I asked (you may have not read that question) about Croatia’s recorded backings in 1999. I am still confused about the issue with the downgrade in points (I can’t remember how that was called). Do you know by any chance what had happened with the recorded voices and what was the stance of the Croatian delegation? Thanks.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Although that is OT, it is an interesting issue. I was very young back then and I didn’t follow ESC as anything else than one night casual fun. As I know, Doris basically did what JOWST did in 2017, only as it was 18 years earlier, it was a big controversy. The usage of back vocals was finally allowed, but some points were substracted. How many, I don’t know since I haven’t make a count. If we are going OT, I just want to share that Severina (Croatian ESC representative of 2006) has coronavirus, but is currently asymptomatic. We hope… Read more »

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Thanks Colin. No offense but I am as confused as ever. Not your fautl. Because as far as I can remember EBU had allowed JOWST to use those sounds from before the contest. Another night, same mystery. All the best to Severina.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

May I add those of Frances? “We will rise, we’ll never fall again, and we will be free”. UK 1994.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

All I hope is that this protest leads to actual, substantial change. We’ve seen it happen here in the States. High time this happens in Belarus. My thoughts are with the people there fighting for what’s right.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Also I hope Evgeny decides to reconsider being a big ol’ homophobe while he’s busy protesting

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

I do not want to be sarcastic, *I promise*. I was wondering what discussions could we have here if USA participated in the contest.
But I am confused re: what you said about what’s happening in the States. Is there any actual change or is it expected come 11/3?

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

There’s a general sense of constant awareness regarding racial prejudice and systemic oppression. Kamala Harris being the VP candidate has inspired a lot of enthusiasm, but obviously some people will never be satisfied with anything. Cautious optimism is the name of the game. 11/3 is looking hopeful, but we mustn’t be complacent. Actual major legislative change is slower to happen until we boot Trump and his racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic cronies out of office, but there have been a few pleasant surprises the last few months.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Thanks for explaining the situation like this. “Cautious optimism” sounds really good as in not raising expectations too high yet being aware of all progress. All the best to the good American people.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Kamala Harris certainly doesn’t inspire enthusiasm among progressives and I don’t know how she can in anyone sensible. She put parents in jail for their children’s truancy and was even proud of it. Like that’s gonna solve anything, it only targeted poor communities all the more. What a god awful pick. But of course, it was always gonna be the best pick for the Pelosis and Schumers of this world relying on people voting for anything but Trump. Let me tell you, this anything but duo is garbage. In fact, they are the perfect duo for the Democrat donors because… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Let’s just hope the November election is fair. Which is unlikely. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, Russian hacking, incompetent media…and now the dismantling of the postal service. If he loses, Donald Trump will not concede. Worst case scenario : he takes (unfair) legal action, which his corrupt attorney general will support. It winds its way up to the Supreme Court, which Donald has now stacked with his right-wing cronies. Don’t forget the Supreme Court decided the 2000 election – in favour of another incompetent, G.W. Bush. Twenty years later, will the same happen again? Sorry if this is deemed to be negative.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonas
Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

That sounds a lot like how the remain voters reacted in the UK after the Brexit vote!

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

These elections will be controversial. Don’t need the popcorn.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Neither do I?

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I don’t know what you mean. That question mark put me off somehow. Anyway. It’s looking ugly already if only for the birther theory.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

It’s unlikely that Trump will let go of power that easily. The dems could come after him and all his clique if they win.

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

You may not like Trump but he’s not comparable to Lukashenko, how ridiculous.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

How wrong you are. Sadly. There are many comparisons. Donald Trump was not elected by the people. He is a crime boss, above the law. Nobody holds him to account. He is now doing everything he can to undermine a fair election. He has no regard for human rights or even human life. He puts armed forces on peaceful protests. Democracy is dying in the USA.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

True, but you need to acknowledge the dirt on BOTH sides. Even four years after Trump, the Democrats are picking their two worst candidates to run against him. And how hypocritical they are. Harris herself confronted and scolded Biden about his racism issues. And she herself won’t do any good for the people. Are you familiar with her policies? She is a nightmare for the people. She is the pick of the donors.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

I don’t really need to acknowledge that, because that is a different conversation entirely – not relevant to comparisons between Donald Trump and Alexander Lukashenko. If you want to compare Joe Biden to Alexander Lukashenko, go ahead, that’s up to you.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

My point was that the people still won’t get anything out of that presidental pick. You guys seem to suggest things will get better if only the boogie man leaves office. And no, I’m not comparing anyone to the Belarussian dictator. It was you who did that and I did not and will not follow in your footsteps. But regarding the entirely different conversation, my point is the (supposed) lesser evil is still an evil. Quite a low bar when the candidate supposed to save America is obviously another demented dude with his own credible rape allegations and obvious intelligence… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Joe Biden is far from perfect, I know that. Have I ever claimed otherwise? I even disagree with your assessment of a “decline in intelligence” when I wonder if he’s ever had any at all. Think of how he treated Anita Hill almost thirty years ago. Having said that, I still think he is an infinitely superior choice for President than Donald Trump. If only because he will appoint sane people to cabinet positions, the supreme court and more. He’ll probably only do one term anyway. His main goal is to get rid of Donald – if he achieves that,… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Enough from him, I meant. Others can do the rest.

Sebastián
Sebastián
1 month ago

Very well explained!

Congrats to Renske and Wiwibloggs staff

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Sebastián

Wiwi and ESC X-tra have gotten very good at tackling social issues as of late.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Sebastián

Renske studies Russian and is a student of European politics! Knowing Russin helps for sure for reading more sources other than mainstream English. Goed gedaan, Renske!!!

Ziv
Ziv
1 month ago

I feel painful for the Belarusian people. I myself come from Hong Kong, which shares the same fate, if not worse, with Belarus. Since the start of protest more than one year ago, the situation has not improved even a bit. Every week we read about how the regime and its police force deliberately break the law to suppress the anti-government movement. The police force is apparently corrupted, cooperating with the underworld, arresting and torturing anyone they want. Not a single government official or police officer apologizes once, let alone getting prosecuted. We Hong Kong people feel very upset about… Read more »

Yevgenia
Yevgenia
1 month ago
Reply to  Ziv

It’s a country, not a city. It doesn’t have the same proportionality. Don’t bring every protest back with your sauce.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Yevgenia

wow, insensitive and rude much?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Yevgenia

Proportionality? Hong Kong has 7.5 million residents, Belarus has 9.5. It’s not a contest.

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  Ziv

A fellow Hongkonger here. Just sad to see the police brutality unfolding in Belarus. I really hope the Belarusian people keep fighting for freedom and democracy and succeed, because there is virtually no hope of progress in Hong Kong.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian

Same game of big powers overall. Russia and China.

1998
1998
1 month ago

I see here two possible scenes:
-Belarus winning in ESC (at least winning jury votes)
-Belarus withdrawing from ESC.

I may be wrong, but let’s see. Everything is possible now, and nothing will now make me feel surprised.

Last edited 1 month ago by 1998
Cameron
Cameron
1 month ago
Reply to  1998

This is bigger than ESC, what help would protests have for ESC result as well, probably limited

Last edited 1 month ago by Cameron
Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
1 month ago
Reply to  1998

More likely, I’d see the latter happening

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 month ago

Until Belarus sorts this out, the EBU forces them to withdraw indefinitely.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

For real?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

I doubt it. That would be the least of Alexander Lukashenko’s worries. They’d also have to kick out some other participants if they want to be consistent.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonas
Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

A country as isolated as Belarus is eager to participate in prestigious int’l competitions. It is outrageous to accept participation of countries with repressive regimes. #odetojoy

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

THAT HASHTAG!!!! Gotta watch out for it in Eurovision Again which happens tonight!!

Una
Una
1 month ago

This is terrible and painful. To think that European countries with former extreme regimes have become democratic and integrated in Europe (not EU). And have this happening. But one just has to look at the map and see Belarus’ neighbours. Clue: three are EU members. Two are not but one is one of the most powerful countries in the world.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago

It is worth noting that the EBU had no ethical problems whatsoever allowing that regime to host Junior Eurovision.

Una
Una
1 month ago

Thanks Mr Bean for remind us. No joke. I had forgotten that because the junior contest is not usually on my radar. I just want politics out of Eurovision. I don’t want to put in with politics in the best event in the calendar.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

Well I do think politics should have nothing with hosting the competition, it’s a bad regime, but the country as a whole isn’t bad, that’s why we should keep those separate.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Do you honestly think a broadcaster is not a part of the regime in a country like Belarus?

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

I still believe that any country should be able to host no matter what. Sport events also happen in all countries. That’s my opinion tho and also where to draw a line, if Belarus shouldn’t host – who else? Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, even Poland, Hungary? I also believe all these countries would withdraw if tild that they can’t host in a case of a a victory since what’s the point then – amd that would be political imo.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Well, it is difficult to draw a line, sure. But ‘any country, no matter what’, definitely not. Would you wanna go to North Korea for any event? I don’t. In a Eurovision context, drawing the line maybe could start with dictatorships. Belarus is obviously a dictatorship. I don’t want to exclude the Belarussian artists from participating, definitely not. But hosting it and promoting such a regime? NO.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

Well I respect your opinion and we often agree but not on this one unfortunately. OK I wouldn’t want to go to North Korea since it’s dangerous, Belarus however is safer than cities like London or Paris even tho it has such regime, so yes I would go there – with no fear actually. And I don’t think hosting Eurovision means promoting the regime, it’s just promoting the country, which I think all countries deserve no matter what. 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

A ridiculous position to take. I suppose you have no problem with Adolf Hitler hosting the 1936 Olympics? He banned Jewish athletes. How about Vladimir Putin hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics? He banned any support for gay people. Then there’s Qatar bribing their way to the FIFA World Cup 2022. How many exploited migrants have died in the building of their elaborate stadiums? What about Baku 2012 sweeping aside a poor community in order to make space for the Crystal Hall?

It may not mean endorsing the regime, but it does mean facilitating them – then turning a blind eye.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

well but hosting also brings joy, not just misery to the people. And sorry but are we seriously comparing Hitler to Lukashenko and Putin? + Belarus isn’t banning anyone, and banning support for gay people doesn’t mean banning the gays – so that’s a ridiculous position to take imo. Yeah these countries are far from perfect, but I don’t think they should be banned from hosting the events. Western countries also started a lot of wars in the Middle East and North Africa, I see no one complaining if UK were to host. Again where to draw a line?

Last edited 1 month ago by Erasmus
AdD
AdD
1 month ago

The EBU has ethics? Belarus is not the only regime to have hosted Eurovision. Russia has, as did Azerbaijan. Not to mention that the right wing regime of the last hosting country (Actual Eurovision, not the Junior version) is well known for has a modern day apartheid government.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Twice! 2010 and 2018.

Also of course, Baku 2012. In that case, they let the “leader” give his wife a top job, and his son-in-law the interval act. Then four hours of self-promotion.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonas
Raul
Raul
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Since when are Norway and Portugal regimes?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Raul

2010 and 2018 are when Belarus hosted the Junior contest, which is what I was referring to.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

The EBU boss, Ingrid Deltenre, was confronted with the Azerbaijan hosting issues and she was like ‘eh, what can we do?’. At least one journalist got her to admit that about the regime’s nepotism at Eurovision, even she was asking herself ‘Is that really necessary?’ I’d ask myself that question on a whole lot of issues regarding Eurovision. Letting Belarus promote themselves means there is no bottom for them. Mr Lukashenko is described as ‘Europe’s last dictator’ for a reason.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

One thing she could have done was not let them join the EBU to begin with. They only joined just before 2008 – with the sole aim of hijacking the Eurovision Song Contest for international promotion. They succeeded within three years. Sad!

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

The money was just too precious to resist, I suppose. And frankly, I think even those three years probably felt like an eternity to the Azerbaijani regime. Now, I still enjoy good entries like ‘When the music dies’ or the sight of Chingiz, but the damage the EBU allowed and will probably continue to allow Azerbaijan to do weighs heavier, I think.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Vanilla Bean
Una
Una
1 month ago

Yup but she was very concerned about the state of Romania’s broadcaster in 2016 as per the official narrative at that time. No money, no participation let alone as a country that had no chance of winning that year. Money – money – money no matter what. Alleged nepotism for Baku 2012 was a non issue IMO. It happens everywhere. At all levels. Human rights vi0lATIions is another issue. Much bigger cr*pp with no consequences. But violence now in Belarus is at an unprecedented scale.

Marcelo
Marcelo
1 month ago

And that’s not even the craziest part, it’s that they let them host the kids’ show TWICE! Although to be fair, if Minsk wouldn’t have been selected as host city, then it was probably going to be Russia, so not that big of a change.

And well, the EBU can sanction and talk all they want, but yet that didn’t prevent us from going to Baku in 2012.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I am wishing safety for all Belarusians impacted by these events and that those held and harmed by “elements” to be freed and to recover physically and mentally very soon. I am wondering whether EBU should allow Belarus to participate next year.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

I hope the situation will improve for the Belarussian people and that VAL will participate next year.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

It’s the broadcaster that participates, not the government. The broadcaster in Belarus may need the EBU’s support now more than ever. That is the EBU’s main function, way more important than the song contest. To support their members and ensure that they can function properly.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Their national broadcaster is the STATE broadcaster. The STATE represses innocent people. They do it because they want to instill fear in their citizens. They are BRUTAL As long as the regime doesn’t change it would be much better to ban the STATE broadcaster from participating.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

What I was trying to say is that the EBU should be using their power to help the decent people at the broadcaster, not punish them. Yes, it might be a state broadcaster – so the EBU should be pushing for reform, helping it cover events fairly and accurately. Supporting journalism. Stopping propaganda pressure. Not cutting ties completely. What good will that do? Ban it from the contest temporarily, fine. The EBU should be on the broadcaster’s side, helping it meet EBU standards. European Broadcasting Union. This is what unions do. Why even join a union if it will turn… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I understand what you mean, but the situation is not that simple. The regime has no interest in accurate and factual reporting or in proper journalism. All mass communication is under the control of the regime. A few media have already been banned. It’s easy for a regime with no accountability to do that. They could isolate the whole country with no info in or out except for who knows, “strategic” communication and such. It’s a terrible situation.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

There was a staff walkout at the broadcaster today. They’re sick of the propaganda, if they can’t do honest journalism, they won’t work. 300 out of the 2,000 employees went on strike. The rest are scared.

This is what I’m talking about. This is who the EBU should support.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonas
Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

State broadcaster depending on state money equals highest possibility for state-led propaganda. Thankfully there is social media now and some other freedom of the press.

Cameron
Cameron
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

The broadcaster is STATE OWNED, Lukashenko runs it

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
1 month ago

 Belarus is changing before our eyes, young Belarusians. They want life without a dictator, democracy must come to this country, the Lukashenko regime must be overthrown and freedom will come

Milan
Milan
1 month ago
Reply to  Hrvatska

True, enough is enough!

Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago

Commenting sensibly on an article like this is just way beyond my capabilities.

I only hope that people can find the happiness within.

MauioN
MauioN
1 month ago

Remember Evgeny Perlin and his homophobic comment during a gay kiss during the Kiss Cam in the first semi-final in 2019… A good Lukashenko soldier !!!

MauioN
MauioN
1 month ago
Reply to  MauioN

I think that people who react to my comment by clicking on minus are also homophobic, aren’t they ? It’s horrible to think that those people agree with Perlin.

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Lukashenko is bloody dictator like his big boss Putin, two monsters , ugh!